Erinnerung für Essener Besucher
Information für internationale Besucher
What's the most remarkable story the German Cup has produced? There have been many, as you'd expect, but our personal favourite takes us back 35 years to the time of Schwarz-Weiß Essen's greatest triumph.
Schwarz-Weiss Essen may be something of a non-entity in contemporary German football, but in the early 1950s they were very much part of the Oberliga West, arguably the strongest of the top-level West German leagues. It was, though, a league dominated by their rivals to the north, Rot-Weiss Essen, who throughout the decade finished in the upper half of the table and indeed took the national championship in 1955. And it was Rot-Weiss, not Schwarz-Weiß, who enjoyed the city's first Cup triumph, in 1953, beating Alemannia Aachen in the Final. Before the decade was out, though, the men in black and white would enjoy their proudest moment. Schwarz-Weiß found themselves in the Zweite Liga West after a disastrous fifteenth-place finish in 1957. They did, however, win the regional Westdeutscher Pokal in August of 1959 (beating Westfalia Herne in the Final) and thus earned a berth in the 1959 national Cup.
Schwarz-Weiß's first opponent in the national knock-out stages was Hertha BSC Berlin, and the Esseners came back from 3-2 down to defeat Hertha 6-3 at the Poststadion in Berlin before just 8,000. This meant a trip north to Hamburg to take on the mighty HSV in the semi-final. The underdogs from Essen repelled all Hamburg's attacks before finally conceding a second-half goal, but Manfred Rummel equalised to force extra time and then put Essen in front after 95 minutes before 15,000 astonished spectators. With two minutes of the time remaining, Essen goalkeeper Hermann Merchel sustained a nasty hand injury and was unable to continue. No substitutes in those days, of course, so Karl-Heinz Mozin removed his shirt and went in between the posts. A half-naked man in goal? The referee, in the interests of decorum, took off his outer layer of clothing and instructed Mozin to put it on. Within seconds of the game restarting, Mozin was patrolling just outside his penalty area when Hamburg's Gert Dörfel burst through the defence, dribbled round the substitute keeper, and...Mozin, with a mighty leap, managed to grab hold of Dorfel's shorts and give a sharp tug. In a split second, Dorfel's shorts were down around his ankles and he found himself unable to even tap the ball into the empty net. A sending-off offence? Mozin pleaded with the referee: "Please ref, please don't send me off, ref, my wife'll kill me if I miss the Final, please, please don't send me off ref, please" or something very similar, and the appropriately-named Mr.Sparing awarded Hamburg nothing more than a free kick. Moments later, Uwe Seeler and his teammates dropped to their knees as the final whistle went and Essen had won.
With an epic semi-final like that out of the way, the Final in Kassel against Borussia Neunkirchen was surely a formality. Neunkirchen were one of the strongest sides in the southwest, but they had struggled against VfR Mannheim in their semifinal and seemed to have little chance against a club which could beat mighty HSV. And indeed that's how it turned out. Two days after Christmas, in front of 21,000, Essen steadily built up a 5-0 lead by the 80th minute. At this point, in one of the most bizarre endings to a Cup Final imaginable, the Essen players decided to treat the remainder of the match as a training exercise. Players were forbidden from using their right foot. That's right: every trap, every pass, every shot could only be made left-footed. After a few minutes the novelty had worn off, and Essen's outfield players then decided that they would all go into their opponents' half, only allowing their goalkeeper in their own half. Not surprisingly, Neunkirchen scored a couple of goals in the last few minutes, but Essen were still having fun as the final whistle went and the score ended 5-2.
ETB's supposedly amateur players each got a secret brown envelope containing 500 DM, and that, more or less, was the last time Schwarz-Weiß Essen were ever heard of. These days, the club play in the Oberliga, with perhaps only a handful of the hearty few hundred souls who turn up at the Uhlenkrug able to recall the day when their club lifted the Cup.
- DFB-Pokal 1959 bei fussballdaten.de
- DFB-Pokal 1959 bei Wikipedia
- SAT.1-Bericht über den ETB mit dem Schwerpunkt Pokalsieg
- Launiger Bericht einer großen deutschen Tageszeitung