A golden future needs a past. There will not just be two traditional evenings on Monday and on Thursday in the Borusseum with this theme, the whole week will revolve around this – from Monday to Saturday where Borussia Dortmund will look back on those who have laid the foundation for the club becoming ever more popular. 

Borussia and the ‘magical 6’ . 1956 they won their first Championship. In 1966 BVB was the first German club to win a European Cup. The years 1976 to 1986 are all about promotion and also the dramatic and in the end successful fight against relegation. In 1966 Borussia Dortmund defended their German Championship title in the Bundesliga. Five decades where the year ‘6’ always plays an exceptional role. And of course there is still one very important game in 2016…


You could tell early on that there was not enough capacity in the club museum for the start of the celebration week, which meant that the ‘traditional evening’ was moved to the ‘Borussia Park’ on Monday. Roughly 400 guests turned up and enjoyed a wonderful evening that was there to mark the 50 year anniversary of the 1966 European Cup win. Even the minister president had promised she would come, however she had to cancel at short notice.


“People who have enriched my life”


Dr. Reinhard Rauball, who was 19 years old that day, the 5.May, 1966 reminisces: “Those who were there and supported us, those who experienced those times knew that this would not turn out to be like any other day, and that instead heroes were born.” 50 years later the Borussia Dortmund president speaks about ‘people who have enriched his life, who have become friends’ and he says about Hans Tilkowski, Wolfgang Paul, Aki Schmidt, Siggi Held, Hoppy Kurrat, Theo Redder, Reinhold Wosab and co.: “ they have character, clear principles, clear views on life.”

BVB archivist Gerd Kolbe stated: “this team did a lot for Dortmund, for the whole Ruhr area, for Nordrhein Westphalia. The region just gained in confidence through what the heroes of 1966 achieved and they moved forward.”

Apart from the heroes of 1966, Willi Burgsmüller (German Champion 1956, 57, 63), Horst Bertram (was loyal to the club after relegation in 1972 and was in goal when BVB got promoted again in 1976), Stefan Klos (Champion 1995 and 1996, Champions League winner 1997) and many icons from the past were in the audience. Rauball judged this as a “clear sign that the generations work hand in hand”. Marcel Schmelzer and Sven Bender were two of the current squad who were present and after winning the Championship in 2011 and the Double in 2012, they can add to the club’s history of achievement a week from today. Rauball: “then we want to show the whole world how important the Borsigplatz is to us when we return on Sunday and complete a lap of honour there….”

“I am proud that I have been able to work for this club”

However Berlin is still a little while away. Glasgow 1966 was the theme tune on Monday. The presenter Gregor Schnittker announced “singing, discussions, videos” and he did not promise too much when he announced: “we will not leave anything out that will prevent you from getting goose bumps when you look back at all the great things that they achieved.” The team captain from back then had the honour to introduce his team mates from that golden era. It was not just the best strikers in Europe who could not get the better of “stopper Paul”, the man from the Sauerland also has a wicked sense of humour. He called Siegfried Held, the ‘blond streak of lightning’ the “first foreigner at BVB”. Held came to Dortmund from Unterfranken.

Paul had to then move over for Hans Tilkowski, who was the first goalkeeper ever to have the honour bestowed upon him as being named ‘Germany’s footballer of the year’ in 1966. “Born on the 12.July 1935” – “Oh”, the now grey haired Tilkowski replied, who is still very elegant as the ‘Black Til’ and who could easily compete with acting legend Paul Newman, and he just took it in his stride. Maybe he would have preferred it if the year 1945 had been mentioned as the year he was born…and then there was ‘Aki’ Schmidt, the first Dortmund player to lead out his national team as the team captain and who made everyone laugh with his memories of days gone by.

Wolfgang Paul: „I am proud that I was able to work for this club.” Today the captain of the team of ’66 is the chairman of the council of elders – and he stands and lives for the motto: a golden future needs a past. Boris Rupert