KR [Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur] was established on february 16th 1899. KR was the only football club in Reykjavík for a decade but as soon as other clubs were established there were plans for competitions. KR won the inaugural championship in 1912 after a play-off with Fram.
After winning the title the club chose to wear the colors of the English champions of that year – whoever they might be – and have since then wore the black and white stripes of Newcastle United.
Plenty of firsts
Victory in the first Icelandic Championship is not the only “first” in KR’s history. They also won the first title after the league was divided in two division in 1955 and in 1959 when the 1st division was played on a home-and-away basis for the first time. KR also won the first Cup competiton in 1960.
KR was the first Icelandic club to play in European competition, facing mighty Liverpool in 1964. KR’s womens team was also the first Icelandic contender in Europe, entering the inaugural European Competition in 2001.
The long and winding road
Recent success has in a way made decades of waiting for major thropies look like a distant past. When KR won their 20th title in 1968 that was regarded as yet another title. No-one could foresee that the club would have to wait for 31 years for it’s next success.
Relegation to the second division in 1977 and heart-breaking near misses in 1990, 1996 and 1998 – when KR lost out in the title race on the final day – only seemed to strengthen the solidarity within the club.
In KR’s centenary year in 1999 the mens team ended it’s long quest for glory in the most spectacular manner. The team hadn’t won the league title for 31 years but this time nothing could stop them. They clinched the title in a carnival atmosphere with a 4-0 win over Víkingur in the penultimate round and then beat ÍA 3-1 in the cup final in front of a capacity crowd at the national stadium.
The womans team was equally successful – winning the league and the cup – and KR celebrated it’s centenary year with an unpresidented double-double.
The mens team has won the league title 24 times and the cup ten times and during the last decade the womans team has won six league titles and twice triumphed in the cup.
KR has been playing at their own ground – KR-völlur – since 1984, having previously played at the national stadium (Laugardalsvöllur) and the old municipal stadium (Melavöllur). KR has had the highest attendances for the last nine years. Only 376 attended the first match at KR-völlur in 1984 but in the centenary year an average crowd of 2,501 saw KR’s home matches. Perheps not the crowds at Old Trafford or Camp Nou but not many clubs get close to 1% of their nation to their home matches.
The home-ground and the supporters have proved vital in recent successes. KR’s supporters club was established 1993 and has strengthened the ties between the club and its loyal supporters.
First division champions (1): 1978
Cup winners (11): 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2008
Champions of champions (3): 1969, 1996, 2003
Reykjavik champions (37): 1916, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1944, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1975, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2009
European cup winner’s cup (5): 1965, 1967, 1968, 1995, 1996
UEFA Cup (6): 1984, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2007
UEFA Europa League (1): 2009