It’s back to the Bundesliga for another set of West German club and international football Shorts. Today we’re featuring stories about an unusual deployment of wingers, broken goal frames and Bayer 05 Uerdingen, a club always close to BTLM’s hearts for that famous European comeback.
A most unusual set of events blighted a Bundesliga game between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen in 1971. With just two minutes remaining the Bremen keeper Bernard and the Mönchengladbach forward Laumen crashed into one of the goal frames and broke it. The home side had no replacement goal available as League rules stipulated, so with the score standing at 1-1 the match was abandoned. The DFB duly awarded the game 2-0 to Bremen and fined the home club.
Fortunately for Mönchengladbach they went on to narrowly retain their Bundesliga title, all the while under threat of court action from their own players who were prepared to sue for loss of earnings through negligence had the club missed out on that championship because of the point lost through the broken goal incident.
In 1976 Bayer Uerdingen bought back their former striker Manfred Burgsmüller from Rot Weiss Essen in a deal worth £100,000 – a standard enough transfer apart from the unusual personal terms he negotiated. Instead of taking a cash signing-on fee as was the norm, Burgsmüller requested and was given ownership of a local sports shop instead.
Innovative tactical twiddling by West German trainer Helmut Schön during a couple of 1973 friendly internationals. Against both Australia and France he experimented by playing two right wingers in the same team – Uli Hoeness & Jurgen Grabowski – with the aim of overloading their opponents’ defences down one side. It proved to be a short-lived trial even though both games were won.
When Hartwig Bleidick appeared as a last-minute substitute for Berti Vogts in West Germany’s 1971 international against Albania, he became the seventh Borussia Mönchengladbach player to feature in the game. This was not quite a German record as Nuremberg had supplied eight players for a 1924 international game against Norway.
During the first decade of European club competition no other European League had supplied such a large number of different club entries as West Germany. By 1965 seventeen different sides had played in the European Cup, Cup Winners Cup or Fairs Cup – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt, a mixed Frankfurt XI, Hamburg, Hannover 96, Hertha Berlin, Munich 1860, Nuremberg, Rot-Weiss Essen, Schalke 04, Stuttgart, Tasmania Berlin, Viktoria Köln and Werder Bremen.