1.12.2023Bayer 04

From the archives: 60 years ago – A 4-1 win with ten men

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. .

In the first half, Bayer 04 are playing into a low sun and very strong wind. Leverkusen are unable to make the most of dominating possession. The two sides going goalless at half-time.

After the restart, the hosts are camped in the opposition half. Dr Klaus Heydenreich, with an assist from Hans-Otto Peters, gives Bayer 04 the deserved lead at 1-0 on 50 minutes with the help of the wind. A minute later, with a counter-attack from Herten, goalkeeper Friedhelm Renno makes a save with a full-length dive. He collides with a Herten player and both fall to the ground. But the Bayer keeper does not get up again. He has broken his ankle. Renno is carried off on a stretcher and defender Werner Biskup pulls on the keeper’s shirt.

With eleven against ten, the visitors sense a chance and pepper the stand-in goalkeeper. But he not only surprises the spectators. Diving, catching and punching he keeps a clean sheet. And the ten Leverkusen players not only resist but also go on the front foot. Heydenreich increases the lead with two more goals on 65 and 80 minutes to make it 3-0 and clock up a hat-trick. The fourth goal on 85 minutes is scored by the young Hans-Joachim Wöhler who made the step up to the first team from the youth ranks in the summer. Werner Biskup did have to pick the ball out of the back of the net in the end. But that doesn't matter as all the Bayer 04 fans go home happy after the 4-1 win. New Year's Eve 1963 can come.

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