Bobby Charlton, one of the most important figures in World football in this century, was simply the highlight of the 16th fan-gathering on the ”Alten Markt“. Ahead of the Champions League game between BVB and Man Utd (1-0 to United) he called for the fans of both teams to ensure that the night would be a celebration of European football. His first visit to Dortmund, albeit as a substitute, was back in November 1956. It was the return leg of the European Cup tie between the same two clubs and took place at the „Rote Erde“ stadium. BVB keeper Kwiatowski has entered the annals of football history as the ’Hero of Manchester‘ for his performance denying the likes of Taylor and co. The return leg in Dortmund ended goalless. Bobby Charlton was one of the few to survive the Munich air crash on 6 February 1958. 21 people lost their lives that day on the runway at Munich airport.
BVB won their first German championship in 1956 with a 4-2 win over Karlsruher SC. Coach Helmut Schneider (who had replaced the legendary ”Bumbas“ Schmidt a year earlier saw his selection (Kwiatowski, Burgsmueller, Sandmann, Schlebrowski, Michallek, Bracht, Peters, Preissler, Kelbassa, Niepieklo and Kapitulski) justify his ideas and bring home the championship bowl to the heartland of football. The title secured entry into the next season’s European Cup for the first time. The following year, and with the same line-up, BVB repeated their championship win this time seeing off a Hamburg SV team including a young Uwe Seeler and Klaus Stuermer with a resounding 4-1 win.