On 21 December in Bottrop, the last operating coal mine in the Ruhr region will close its doors for good. Borussia Dortmund would like to mark the occasion and express its gratitude for all the wonderful work the miners have done for the region. ''Mining has made its mark on our region in the same way that football has,'' said BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke. ''Every historic club in the Ruhr region was forged through coal and steel. Coal, steel, football and beer have always come together to define our shared sense of culture and togetherness.''
For the last match of 2018, the Borussia Dortmund players will line up against the guests from Mönchengladbach wearing jerseys bearing the slogan ''Danke Kumpel!'' (''thanks mate!'') BVB's main sponsor Evonik have withdrawn their logo from the team's shirt to support this initiative. ''The end of coal mining marks the end of a great historic era,'' said Watzke. ''Think of how the Ruhr developed into one of the most productive industrial regions in the world; how the country was rebuilt after the second world war and how millions of people from across the world have been peacefully integrated here: none of these things would have been possible without mining.''
''Danke Kumpel!'' forms part of the ''Glückauf Zukunft!'' (''hope for the future!'') initiative. Several events are being organised to mark the end of the German coal mining industry. The RAG foundation, the RAG company, Evonik Industries and IGBCE are all coming together to commemorate the achievements and legacy of the German coal mining industry in the Ruhr region. The ''Glückauf Zukunft!'' initiative will reach its conclusion with the final event on 21.12.2018, which will take place on the premises of the Franz Haniel pit.