3 August 1950 – Lyon Takes A Leap
They were originally part of Lyon Olympique Universitaire, a multi-sports club who established a football section in 1899 and went on to win the French title in 1910. But by the late 1940s, rifts appeared in the club over the question of whether to allow professional players. Unable to come to a resolution, a group led by Dr. Trillat left LOU to form a separate club, which they named Olympique Lyonnais.
Starting in the French second division, Lyon played their first official match on 26 August 1950, beating CA Paris 3-0. They won promotion to the top flight in 1951, but dropped back down one year later.
They won their first major honor in 1964, beating Bordeaux in the Coupe de France final, then repeated as champions in 1967 and 1973. After a lengthy lull that included another spell in Ligue 2, they roared back in 2002, winning the first of seven consecutive league titles (and another Coupe de France in 2008).
Since that historic run, they have yet to win another league title, most recently finishing in fourth, but they added another Coupe de France in 2012.