Harry Gniech was born in Leverkusen-Schlebusch on 14 October 1951. He became a member of Bayer 04 at the age of nine and he started playing football three years later. He progressed through all the youth teams and moved up to the amateur team. In 1973/74 his former U19 coach Friedhelm Renno, now coaching the Bayer 04 first team, brings him in for his first game with the senior team. He is substituted at half-time in the game and he remains in the amateur team up to 1978.
He comes to the attention of coach Willibert Kremer and he plays for the first team in the final five games of the 1977/78 campaign. Those five matches were all won and the team went into the next season full of confidence. Harry becomes a regular starter with the promotion side. He plays a total of 40 Bundesliga games for Bayer 04 and is the first homegrown Leverkusen player in the Bundesliga. He celebrates his 70th birthday this month. Many happy returns, Harry!
HERE are the best goals and moves by Harry Gniech on video.
Niko Kovac was born in Berlin on 15 October 1971. He joined Bayer 04 in 1996 from relegation-threatened second division club Hertha Berlin. After general manager Reiner Calmund asked him about his brother Robert’s ability, he also signs for Bayer 04 from second division FC Nürnberg. In Leverkusen this was the start of the rebuilding under coach Christoph Daum and the battle for the title and qualification for the Champions League. Niko twice finishes Bundesliga runner-up and third once in his three years at Bayer 04. He also starts in the club’s first Champions League match against the Belgian side Lierse SK. The defensive midfielder makes 77 Bundesliga appearances and scores 8 goals in three years.
After hanging up his boots, he started a very successful career as a coach and he is now at the helm of the French top-flight club AS Monaco after being the manager of Croatia, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich. His players include former Werkself star Kevin Volland. Niko is 50 this month. Happy birthday in the principality.
HERE are the best goals and moves by Niko Kovac on video.
Jürgen Röber was born on 25 December 1953 in Gernrode in former East Germany. He came to the west with his parents in 1956, living in Bertlich in the district of Recklinghausen and playing for SuS Bertlich up to U15 level. He then moved to FC Zons in the Lower Rhine region and spent his final youth years there. Werder Bremen became aware of the strong-running midfielder via Verbandsliga clubs Ford Niehl and TuS Lingen and brought him into the Bundesliga in 1974.Show more
In 1963 there was a matchday between Christmas and New Year. 3000 spectators came to the Ulrich Haberland Stadium on 29 December. In blazing sunshine and wonderful winter weather, Bayer 04 play SpVgg Herten, a club from Recklinghausen, on a good playing surface. In a time before substitutes with injured players staying on the pitch like statues, the Werkself are fighting to stay up. .Show more
In this video you can watch impressive and important goals in the history of Bayer 04 in the month of December. It is not always about the beauty of the goals but also about remembering special games and players.Show more
Matchday 17 in the 1983/84 season brings a derby at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. It is 9 December 1983, the last game before the winter break. Our stadium is, unimaginable today, not sold out but does have a decent crowd of 15,000. Around 2,000 spectators have crossed the Rhine from Cologne.Show more
On Saturday, 2 December 1978, Bundesliga 2 northern section leaders Bayer 04 hosted the team sitting third in the southern section, SpVgg Bayreuth, in the third round of the DFB-Pokal.Show more