1.05.2022Bayer 04

From the archives: The match of the year 1952

70 years ago it was important for every club in Germany to have as many friendly matches as possible even during the season at times. These matches and income through gate money financed the players wages, which were very small back then. Bayer 04 were also dependent on games like that and in May 1952 there were very special visitors to the Am Stadtpark stadium.

Blackburn Rovers were the first English team to come to Leverkusen. The fee for the English second division club took up half of the income of at least 3,000 marks. The "Rovers" from the cloth mills of Blackburn were the six-time FA Cup winners and two-time champions of England. The fact those honours were mainly over 40 years before did not bother anybody in Leverkusen. Exactly as little as the fact that the announced international players were not actually internationals as we know today.

The English professionals arrived two days before the game in Leverkusen. They had a packed agenda on the matchday on Saturday 17 May 1952. At nine in the morning there was a tour of the works, lunch at noon, after that time spent at the municipal swimming baths up to five o'clock before 'five o'clock tea' to prepare for the match. By the time of the kick off at 6:30 in the evening there were 7,000 spectators around the pitch to witness the promised great event.



Leverkusen took the lead on 29 minutes with a shot from centre forward Fritz Tiede and they went 2-0 up at the start of the second half with a goal from Emil 'Bubi' Becks. However, the English team hit back to make it 2-1. The deserved equaliser came on 59 minutes and the game ended all square despite chances for both sides. That great day was rounded off with an evening meal for the two teams in the Krahne club pub in Wiesdorf. The only bad news was an injury to midfielder Richard Job who had to go off on 43 minutes.


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