28.09.2018Bayer 04

Heroes galore at the BayArena for Dortmund game

It's a very special event: Three Bayer 04 teams, who have a secure place in the history of the Werkself, are coming together for the Bundesliga match against Borussia Dortmund. The DFB Cup winners of 1993 celebrate their 25th anniversary of that success, the UEFA Cup winners of 1988 their 30th and the Regional League West champions of 1968 their half-century. All three teams will be honoured ahead of the game against BVB – with a big fan choreography organised by the Bayer 04 faithful.

They were the first Bayer 04 team to knock on the door of the Bundesliga. Under coach Theo Kirchberg, affectionately known as the Fox due to his tactical trickery,  the team had an outstanding season in 1967/68 ending up champions of the Regional League West. That title took the club into the promotion play-offs for the Bundesliga founded five years previously. Bayer 04 battled with Tennis Borussia Berlin, TuS Neuendorf, Arminia Hannover and Kickers Offenbach for a place in Germany's top flight – but ended up losing narrowly to Offenbach:  In the game in front of 28,000 spectators at the Bieberer Berg, Leverkusen took the lead through Peter Rübenach but ended up losing 2-1 in added time to finish second in the group behind the Kickers. Ten men from the title winning team will be at the stadium led by Helmut and Karl-Heinz Brücken, Günter Haarmann, Fredi Hennecken, Friedhelm Renno, Helmut Röhrig and Peter Rübenach.

Tita arrived on Thursday

The names of the 93 Cup winning side and the 88 UEFA Cup winners are probably more familiar to most Werkself fans. With the exception of Bum-kun Cha, nearly all of the heroes from the European season 30 years ago will be at the BayArena to again take in the deserved applause of the supporters: Coach Erich Ribbeck, Herbert Waas, 'Boxer' Klaus Täuber, Falko Götz, Wolfgang Rolff, Christian Schreier and, and, and... Without doubt, the longest journey was undertaken by Tita who arrived from Brazil on Thursday. The 1993 team will be led out by coach Dragoslav Stepanovic with another star-studded cast: Ulf Kirsten, Andy Thom, Ioan Lupescu, Franco Foda, Christian Wörns, Martin Kree, Markus Happe and Heiko Scholz.

All 50 will come together in the Armenia Lounge at the BayArena on Saturday afternoon where they will be welcomed by Fernando Carro, chairman of the board at Bayer 04. As part of the fan choreography, the members of all three teams will be honoured on the pitch shortly before the kick-off of the Bundesliga match and there will be a short interview with a player from each team at half-time on the pitch led by the stadium announcers Petra 'Pitti' Dahl and Tobias Ufer.

The  Schwadbud talk show after the game against Dortmund will feature special guests: Franco Foda, today Austria coach, as captain of the DFB Cup winners and Wolfgang Rolff as skipper of the UEFA Cup heroes will give their assessments of the clash with BVB and, no doubt, recount many an anecdote from their time at Bayer 04.

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