Rudi Assauer, member of the squad that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1966, has passed away at the age of 74. Through his time spent as a player at Borussia Dortmund and as manager of Schalke 04, Rudi made a distinguished contribution to German football.
Between 1964 and 1970, the midfield player made a total of 119 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund, scoring eight goals in the process. He won the DFB-Cup in 1965 as well as the Cup Winners' Cup the year after. This triumph would be the first ever by a German club on the European stage, and the 21-year-old Assauer had an important role to play: he made appearances in the first two rounds against Floriana La Valetta and CSKA Sofia as well as in both legs of the semi-final against West Ham United and the final against Liverpool.
''Rudi Assauer was part of the team that won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1966 and will therefore always be associated with an important milestone in the history of Borussia Dortmund,'' said BVB president Dr. Reinhard Rauball on Wednesday evening: ''He then went on to lead FC Schalke 04 to national and international success as manager.'' In his time at the helm of the royal blues, the club won the 1997 UEFA Cup as well as two DFB-Cups (2001 and 2002).
''A great personality, a brilliant manager,'' said chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke as he remembered Assauer: ''Schalke 04 was his life, and he also lifted a European trophy with BVB as a player. He was someone you could have a real argument with but also have a real laugh with...''
Although it must be said that, all things considered, Assauer will mainly be remembered for his time at Schalke, he never denied his black-and-yellow past: in 2010, he was honoured for his 40 years as a BVB member. Rauball: ''BVB will never forget a man like Rudi Assauer.'' (br)