Happy 70th birth­day

For­mer team­mates and colleagues con­gra­tulate Peter Her­mann


He has been a member of the Bayer 04 family for over 45 years and still feels he has a very close connection to the club: On this Tuesday, 22 March, Peter Hermann celebrates his 70th birthday. Bayer 04 wholeheartedly congratulates our longstanding player, promotion hero and coach and takes this opportunity to enable former teammates and colleagues such as Rudi Völler, Stefan Kießling, Bernd Schneider, Jürgen Gelsdorf, Jupp Heynckes and Klaus Toppmöller to show their appreciation.

Rudi Völler (at Bayer 04 since 1994)

"Peter Hermann was the first team assistant coach when I came to Leverkusen in the late autumn of my career. Peter was in the dugout as the head coach in the closing stages of the nerve-wracking season of 1995/96 when we were able to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga at the last moment in the legendary match against FC Kaiserslautern. We both had to suffer together then but in the many following years together we mainly experienced great moments. Peter was my right-hand man in a number of games when I was helping out as coach at Bayer 04. He always had a very special connection to Bayer 04 – we remembered that when Hannes Wolf was to take us into Europe in 2020/21 and he needed an experienced, reliable but, above all, good assistant coach. We qualified for the Europa League as hoped and that was down to Peter. The fact he helped out spontaneously was also due to us never losing contact with each other. Peter still likes coming to first-team training sessions as a "nosy parker" and also likes to drop in for a coffee. I'm looking forward to meeting him at the BayArena to have a quiet beer and talk about football in the coming years when I'm no longer working at the club."



Jupp Heynckes (Bayer 04 head coach in 2009 to 2011, Bayern Munich head coach from 2011 to 2013, treble winner with Peter Hermann as assistant coach in 2013)

"Of course, I knew Peter before my time at Bayer 04 because he was also a player and after that worked as an assistant to absolute top coaches. When it was clear I would take up the coaching job at Leverkusen he immediately looked to get in touch with me – he wanted to know how it looked in terms of the role as assistant coach. We quickly reached an agreement and then had two successful years together at Leverkusen before we moved on to Munich. Over that time we got to know each other and I have to say he has become a good friend of mine over the years. I can only speak highly of him: He's a great person with a wonderful character. He is loyal, has lots of empathy, is reserved and absolutely modest – he quickly gets to know players and gains their confidence early on. That's really, really important. Also because they quickly notice he's not just an absolute football expert. As an assistant coach he's a very hard worker who not only does his job but also works with you really hard. We got on instinctively – he was a great support for me and played a big part in success in Leverkusen and in Munich. For me, he is one of the best assistant coaches there's ever been in the Bundesliga. Or perhaps he still is because, who knows, we might see him again."

Bernd Schneider (Bayer 04 honorary captain)

"Peter is a really caring, nice and likeable person. As assistant coach he was always wholehearted and full of passion. He continually tried and mostly succeeded in maintaining a good team spirit – and he also didn't forget the players who were often on the bench or didn’t play much. In the 2001/02 season we worked a lot with the ball in training with him and Toppi (Klaus Toppmöller, ed.), which primarily helped people like me who liked to play with the ball. But, of course, we also had to put in the running. I didn't really like that much – except when I was running with or next to Peter. He had a special approach to showing and explaining things – fun was always number one for him. Football is an absolute passion for him and you can clearly see how much he perks up on the football pitch. I've had lots of good assistant coaches but Peter was definitely the best. Not just me but also a lot of coaches have benefited from him – otherwise Jupp Heynckes would not have wanted him in Munich. But Peter worked for and deserved everything himself."

Paulo Sergio (Werkself player from 1993 to 1997)

"Peter Hermann was very important to me and he will always have a place in my heart. When I came to Leverkusen in 1995, Ioan Lupescu and Pavel Hapal were the only other foreign players. My first time in Germany wasn't so easy but Peter gave me massive support and helped me out – just like Bernd Schuster who spoke Spanish and was able to explain a lot. One of the best experiences was the final match of the season against Kaiserslautern in 1996. I still remember Peter Hermann coming to me before the game and saying: 'Paulo, I've got one request. We definitely can't lose this game. You and all the others have to give your all on the pitch. That's very important for the whole club, this club can't go down.' At the end of the day it all worked out and we were able to celebrate staying up with the fans. It was a great day. And that was also down to Peter – he took over coaching the team at this difficult time and he kept us up."

Markus Münch (Bayer 04 player from 1994 to 1996)

"Peter was not only my coach at Leverkusen but he also often supported me afterwards and we are still in contact today. He's a positive, football crazy person and a very hard worker on the training ground and it feels like he dedicates every spare moment to football even now. He's always had a great connection to us players – above all, he was always there for everybody from the number 1 to number 24 regardless of whether they were regular starters or reserves, he looked out for everybody. I can't imagine Bayer 04 Leverkusen without him and he will always have this club in his heart too. In 1996, Peter played a huge part in us staying up. He took over the club in a difficult situation back then. But in spite of all the pressure he remained true to his way – he was always positive, calm and rational and he actually never showed signs of being upset. Above all, he also protected us players outside the club. It was important that we had him at that moment."

Klaus Toppmöller (Bayer 04 head coach from 2001 to 2003)

"Peter is a great bloke – and an assistant coach as you could only wish for. With a character you couldn’t improve on. In my contract negotiations back then, Reiner Calmund recommended Peter Hermann as my assistant coach. I was sceptical because I didn't know him and don't know how he worked. 'Have a look at him for three months and then we'll see what happens,' he said. But after two days I knew: Peter is the right man! I had absolute confidence in him – he had incredible knowledge of the game and I could completely rely on him on the pitch. He was always loyal in the background – not somebody who had an eye on the head coach position but somebody who always wanted to be in support. As a head coach, you have to open your heart to somebody like Peter. We had two great years at Leverkusen. For me, he's the best assistant coach there's ever been. I would have liked to have taken him with me to Hamburg in 2003 but unfortunately that didn't happen."


Thomas Kleine (Bayer 04 player from 1998 to 2003)

"I had a special relationship with Peter – not just because he brought me in for the Reserves at Leverkusen back then. I made it to the first-team squad under him and I often did extra shifts with him in training. He did that with a lot of players in addition to the normal daily routine. He is absolutely football crazy – in a positive sense. He's really keen to get on the pitch. Everything else was never so important to him. What always really impressed me was he was always able to get on with everybody – regardless of which country a player came from or how old he was. That's one of his great strengths – he accepted everybody and was accepted by everybody as well. I have a lot to thank him for and I've learned a lot from his approach. And as coincidence would have it, I took over from him in 2017 as the assistant coach to Friedhelm Funkel at Fortuna Düsseldorf when he went back to Bayern Munich."

Hans-Peter Lehnhoff (Bayer 04 team liaison manager and Werkself player from 1994 to 1999)

"When I came to Leverkusen in 1994 I didn't know that Peter had often watched me in Belgium playing for Royal Antwerp. It was also down to him that I had an offer from Bayer 04. He always wants to get the best out of every player. And there's nobody who knew the club better than Peter Hermann. He was always the perfect number two and somebody who could take over the team for a couple of games in an emergency. He always saw things very clearly. He's also fine and dear person. He is a coach and a friend in one person. We always got on brilliantly. He gave young and new players a sense of security. He was particularly good at that. I don't know any player, and I know a lot, who wouldn't have liked to work with him and didn't always speak very positively about him. Now he’s 70 and he is still in demand. That also says a lot about him.”

Klaus Bruckmann (Teammate of Peter Hermann from 1977 to 1984)

"I got to know Peter as a teammate in 1977 when I joined Bayer 04 from MSV Duisburg. I felt he was a great and calm person who never got really upset about anything but was always very rational. In our first Bundesliga season, we played the league leaders Hamburg SV on the penultimate matchday and they went on to win the European Cup final against Nottingham Forest. We beat HSV 2-1 and Peter, who was agile and full of running, had a great game against Felix Magath. Our victory virtually made Bayern the champions. I still remember very well the really important goal Peter scored towards the end of the 1981/82 season. We were losing at home to Duisburg and he scored the winner at 2-1 just before the end of the game that secured our play-off spot and as good as relegated MSV Duisburg, my former club. We later met up as coaches in the Oberliga: Peter as the Bayer 04 Reserves coach and I was the Bergisch Gladbach coach. We regularly exchanged information about our opponents in the Oberliga in that season. That was the first time I became aware of the incredible football knowledge this man has. Back then he was already absolutely in the right place in this coaching job."

Jürgen Gelsdorf (Teammate of Peter Hermann from 1976 to 1984 and Bayer 04 head coach from 1989 to 1991)

"I've known Peter for nearly 50 years as a teammate, fellow coach and above all one of my best friends. And our families are very close to each other. We've seen our children grow up together and have often been on holiday together. It's a really, really special connection. We played together at Bayer 04 for eight years. Back then you played with your socks rolled down. Peter was known as a tireless runner and technically impressive dribbler but also a special marker for the opposition's playmaker – Paul Breitner could write a book on that. I recently saw the video on the Bayer 04 website of some of his best goals and I have to admit that I didn't remember how many goals Peter scored (he laughs). When I took over the coaching job at Bayer 04 from Rinus Michels in 1989 it was absolutely clear to me that Peter was my number one assistant coach. As teammates, we often talked about what was happening in the team, what training was like, how we were to play. So, I called up Peter who had just ended his playing career at VfL Hamm/Sieg. And he was able to envisage it straightaway. Reiner Calmund was also up for it straightaway. Peter probably didn't think that he would be in this job for so long and would make it such a success. You can't be angry with him even when he is critical. I can't remember when he was a player ever having an argument with anybody. Peter is always positive. And when you see how many world-class players he’s worked with at all his clubs, with how many great coaches he’s worked alongside with their confidence and how they all speak positively about him then that is very exceptional. I can only take my hat off to him."

Rüdiger Vollborn (Bayer 04 honorary captain)

"I was giving up hope when we were wrapped up in the relegation battle in 1996 and we lost 2-1 at SC Freiburg on the penultimate matchday. I was really worried about the club on the return journey in the team bus but also, of course, about my own future as a player. We were just building our house and I was asking myself how it would all turn out in the event of getting relegated. Peter was sat next to me at the front of the bus and comforted me. I remember those five games under him really well. He didn't have an assistant coach and I was something like his extended arm. Peter gave a very emotional speech ahead of the decider against Kaiserslautern and that really impressed us all. He knew exactly what it was all about. And he conveyed that to us too. We couldn't afford to be relegated. Peter was also my first goalkeeping coach. He got heavily involved in that at the time. When Gelle (Jürgen Gelsdorf, ed.) did the warm-up routine with the players Peter looked after the goalkeepers. Later I was his assistant coach with our Reserves, which I remember as a really great time. Peter didn't have to be a head coach – he was actually always the boss on the training ground and much more than an assistant."


Dieter Herzog (Teammate of Peter Hermann from 1976 to 1983)

"Peter and I often used to share a room at training camps. We both prepared in a very disciplined and professional way for training sessions and matches. We understood each other instinctively on the pitch. (He laughs) When I played in midfield in my advanced years I set up – mostly with the outside of my foot – the ball for him and then Peter went down the right flank. We also had loads of fun on the pitch and we used to go on holiday together sometimes. Peter is an honest person through and through."

Stefan Kießling (First team coordinator at Bayer 04 and Bayer 04 honorary captain)

"I came to Leverkusen as a young player at the age of 21 and I found it a bit difficult here at the start as people know. Peter was always there for me. It was great to see how he endeavoured to make every player better. He also did that with me. After training he often used to say to me: ' Kies, come here and I'll put in a couple of crosses for you.' Then he put the ball on my head. I've got a lot to thank him for because he always supported me 100%. And he also gave me a kick up the bum when I needed it. A great person who always focused on details. I'm glad I was able to work with him for a number of years. He's an incredibly good motivator and had lots of private conversations with players. Because he also had great sense of instinct and always knew he should take a player to one side. That was great. Peter is an incredibly positive person. He didn't take long to think about it and we asked him last season to take over as assistant coach in a very difficult situation. Peter agreed straightaway and that's what it's like. That really pleased me. I was often with him during those weeks."

Dirk Dreher (Manager of the Bayer 04 Veterans and assistant coach to Peter Hermann in 2003)

"Peter is a down-to-earth, helpful, reliable person. He was always ready to listen. As a coach there is hardly anybody else who was as football crazy, who always tried to keep developing, improving, and looking at training methods to make players better.

Today he often meets up with us at the BayArena. I work with them for several months with our U23s in 2003. And I found it in outstanding the way Peter not only looked after his team but also thought about how the first team, who were in a relegation battle back then, could avoid the drop. One of his favourite stories that he liked to tell amongst the team was the one with the bumblebee. Science had long assumed that the bumblebee could not fly because of physical and aerodynamic reasons because it's too heavy in relation to the surface area of its wings. But the bumblebee doesn't know that and carries on flying. That example is often used in sports science to convey to players and athletes that the impossible is possible."

Matthias Brücken (Teammate of Peter Hermann between 1977 and 1980)

"I now regularly see Peter again every couple of weeks at our breakfast together with a number of players from the Bundesliga promotion team. In spite of all the great success he has collected over his long career as a coach, he has always remained the same, is down-to-earth and authentic. And that's the reason Peter radiates a natural authority. I think that's sensational. We are all football crazy in our own way. But what Peter knows about football, and what he can tell about individual players in their careers is incredible, whether they played 40 years or 10 years ago. He even remembers individual moves in a game from the distant past. Peter is a walking football dictionary. Nobody has to look up Wikipedia or anything else – just ask Peter."  

Carsten Ramelow (Bayer 04 honorary captain)

"For me and definitely many others at Bayer 04, Peter is a club legend. The way he does his job and lives – there's no better. And he's proved that not just in Leverkusen but also at many other clubs. What impresses me about him: Peter can judge himself very well because he knows where his place is. He never wanted to be the number one. But in the background, as the number two and there is hardly a better assistant coach than him."

Bayer 04 legend Rüdiger Vollborn congratulated Peter Hermann in his series "Rudi recounts…" In March. HERE are some moments from his time at the Werkself ...