1.08.2021Bayer 04

From the archives: Going top of the table

For the month of August, I bring you two games from the 1961/62 and 1966/67 seasons.

Bayer 04 were in the Second Oberliga West 50 years ago. The Werkself had been trying to get into the top-flight for five years. There is a top match against Wuppertal SV on matchday four in the 1961/62 season. The date is 27 August and 12,000 spectators want to watch this clash. Against a defensive Wuppertal team built around central defender Erich Ribbeck, Bayer 04 go top after a 2-1 win. At the end of the season, the team with the two future Bundesliga players and coaches Heinz Höher and Uwe Klimaschefski achieve promotion to the First Oberliga West.

Werner Röhrig opens the scoring just before half-time.

A certain Manfred Manglitz is in goal for Bayer 04 – both a very good Bundesliga keeper as well as involved in the Bundesliga scandal of 1971. And the Ribbeck with Wuppertal is THE Erich Ribbeck who led Bayer 04 to winning the UEFA Cup 27 years later. The goals for Bayer 04 were scored by the captain Werner Röhrig, who ends his playing career at the age of 28 because his professional opportunities in the works were more important, and Hans Zimmerman.

the start of the 1966 season

21 August 1966 brings the first matchday in the Regional League West. The visitors at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium our newly promoted SSV Hagen and the local newspapers discuss the possible margins of victory. The newcomers from Hagen put up a battle. The Werkself win 18 corners to four and create lots of goalscoring opportunities but again and again are denied by the Hagen keeper Müller – and the physical approach of the Hagen players.


Above all, the defender Stöcker takes care of Karl-Heinz Ripkens, Helmut Brücken and Fredi Hennecken one after the other – and back then there were no substitutions leaving the Werkself to search for victory with only seven outfield players. The three injured players, as usual, remained on the pitch but were unable to play an effective part in events. In the last minute, SSV Hagen make it 3-2 and the visitors take both points from the game at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium.

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