1.08.2022Bayer 04

Birthday boy of the month: Peter Röger, a significant part of Bayer 04 football history

Peter Röger was born in Leverkusen-Küppersteg on 8 August 1922. At a young age he played with tins and anything that was round – often upsetting his parents who scrutinised his battered shoes with an unforgiving look in the evenings. At the age of 14 he joined the football club Jahn Küppersteg.

After a few weeks he decided to cross over the river Dhünn to the Stadtpark where he joined the youth set-up at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He made his first appearance for the senior team at the age of 18 and he was a key player straightaway. The 'Lange’ (tall one), as he was known for his height of over six foot, was a defender solid in challenges and good in the air. His other strengths were his calm and fairness.



After the Second World War, he played in the first game and in the following years be became a reliable key player at Bayer 04. He wore the claret shirt of Bayer 04 over 500 times from 1945 to 1956. He wins promotion to the First Oberliga West with the Werkself in 1951, while working in the company health insurance fund at Bayer AG, and he ends his playing career at the age of 34 after a lot of knee injuries. But that's not the end of his connection with football. He gains a lot of merit as a long-standing board member of our club. He is the football chairman in 1960 – comparable to a sporting director today – and he played a significant part in building the team of the early 1960s. After internal disputes, he and his deputy Fredy Mutz, a long-standing goalkeeper in the 1950s, are voted off at the AGM. Five years later on 2 February 1969, he takes up the post again for another two years.

From 1971 he is a spectator at the stadium and training sessions and he accompanies the Bayer 04 first team to away games with his former teammates from the 1950s, particularly the European matches. Peter Berger passed away on 24 September 1999 at the age of 77 and a good part of the football history of Bayer 04 went with him. The 'Lange' would have been 100 years old on 8 August. A good reason to remember him.

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