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Another detour through history

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As promised in my previous post, here are my favorite stories and anecdotes about the 1. Fc Cologne and Borussia Mönchengladbach.


1. Cologne coach Oswald Pfau did generously give his players two days off before the cup-final in 1960. World Cup hero Helmut Rahn took that as a license to go on a massive binge, and turned up drunk at the hotel just minutes before the game started. Cologne’s captain, president and coach couldn’t agree on what to do. So they called the coach of the national side, Sepp Herberger, who told them: So what, he might even score a couple of goals.

But Rahn didn’t. Cologne lost the final 2-3 against the HSV with a drunk Helmut Rahn on the pitch. And while the rest of the team headed to the traditional dinner with mayor of Cologne, Rahn decided to skip the rest of the days program all together. The enraged president Fritz Kremer gave Rahn the boot.

2. The team from west-German are often called the billy goats. Here is the story that goes with that name. After the carnival of 1950 a circus director decided to give the football team one of their billy goats as a gift. When the goat was handed over to the club it decided to empty its massive blather on the legendary FC coach Hennes Weisweiler’s arm.

The goat was therefor named after Weisweiler, and all the subsequent billy goats that have served as mascots have had the name Hennes.


Hennes the 7th is named after the legendary coach Hennes Weisweiler. Weisweiler was also successful at Gladbach.

3. The FC decided to buy a new goalkeeper from Brazil in 1965. The billy goats spent 100.000 Deutsche Mark in transfer fees for Miguel Ferreira. The polite young man is remembered for greeting the ladies that worked at the offices of the 1. FC Cologne with hand kisses, and for not playing a single minute of football for the club. He was gifted away to the SC Bonn in the end.

4. Recognizing the difference between twins is often difficult. In 1965 saw the talented footballer Zvezdan Cebinac on a trial at Cologne. The club liked what they saw and decided to offer the player a contract. After the contract was signed Zvezdan stopped showing up for practice, and his untalented brother Srdjan took over for him.

5. Then Cologne coach Uwe Rapolder was annoyed by Youssef Mokhtari’s selfish behavior on the pitch. His solution: make Mokhtari write an essay about altruism.


Rapolder didn't manage to win any title with Cologne, but he taught at least one of the team's striker what selflessness is.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

1. The teams nickname the Foals was formed in the 70’s. At the time Gladbach ruled the league with quick and passionate offensive football. The team was mainly put together with young plays, and therefor the name the Foals emerged.

2. This anecdote appeared in the newly published biography about Robert Enke. Enke and the rest of the team were in the dressing room and then-manager Rolf Rüssmann stormed into the room: Has anybody got some moisturizer, I have dry skin, Rüssmann told the players. Stephan Paßlack quickly handed Rüssmann a tube. The manager smeared some of the tube’s content in his face. His face didn’t move for a long time after he was done smearing, Paßlack had in fact handed Rüssmann a tube of hair gel.

3. The following story happened during the cup-final in 1973. Günther Netzer had been placed on the bench by coach Hennes Weisweiler, and when the game didn’t seem to go Gladbach’s way Netzer took matters into his own hands. “I am playing now”, Netzer remarked dryly to his coach. After he had substituted himself on the pitch in the 91 minute Netzer actually scored the winning goal in overtime.

Goal of the century?: Netzer’s goal is shown on this YouTube clip after 2 minutes.

4. Young and promising Wolfram Wuttke came to the club in 1981. The attacker quickly managed to secure himself a place in Jupp Heynckes starting eleven. While everything seemed fine on the outside, the collaboration between Heynckes and Wuttke was difficult at times.

After Heynckes went on a rampage, Wuttke pointed out the fact that his face turned quickly red when Heynckes was angry. The attacker decided to add insult to injury and gave Heynckes the nickname Osram(after a German light bulb producer). Wuttke got away with a fine, but to this day Heynckes is still called Osram.

5. This story involves both clubs. Gladbach and Cologne were equal on points before the last match of the season in 78, but Cologne looked like the sure winners of the league because of their goal difference. Gladbach had to catch up ten goals.

The team managed to go 6-0 up against to Borussia Dortmund before the half time break. The news of Gladbach’s surge reached the fans that had gathered to see St. Pauli playing against Cologne. Gladbach continued their rampage of Dortmund after the break, and went on to win 12-0. Cologne on its side was cheered on by St. Pauli’s supporters and managed to win 5-0. If Cologne hadn’t scored three goals after the break, the championship title of 78 would have ended up in the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Any anecdotes missing? Any other anecdotes from the world of football you would like share? Don’t hesitate, leave a comment below.


About Niklas

Niklas Wildhagen has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years and he is the editor in chief of the Bundesliga fanatic.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Decision Time – my Bundesliga team for 2011/12 – Regista

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