He's a Black & Yellow institution. A huge fan favourite. A specialist who has been appreciated by the many head coaches he has worked under – from Matthias Sammer to Peter Stöger – in his time at the club. After 32 years at Borussia Dortmund, 17 of those as the goalkeeping coach, Wolfgang de Beer, who is affectionately known as Teddy, is leaving. The 54-year-old is looking for a new challenge away from coaching.
For many the very embodiment of a one-club man, de Beer lives with his family in Dinslaken, the town where he was born. "I feel at home there, I have my friends there, and I've always remained a normal person there," de Beer, whose playing career reached its zenith when he won the 1989 DFB Cup with Borussia Dortmund in Berlin, once said.
He was part of the playing squad that lifted the 1995 and 1996 Bundesliga titles, the 1997 UEFA Champions League and the World Club Cup later that year. In his 17 years as goalkeeping coach, he oversaw three further Bundesliga titles (2002, 2011, 2012) and two DFB Cup wins (2012, 2017). Under his tutelage, Roman Weidenfeller became an international – and later a world champion.
"We owe Teddy our enormous thanks and are extremely sad to see him take his deserved retirement from coaching. He is and always will be a major part of the BVB fabric and has cemented his place in our club's history," said Chief Executive Officer Hans-Joachim Watzke and Sporting Director Michael Zorc in a joint statement. In recent times, Wolfgang de Beer had deliberately only extended his contract by one season at a time.
"My head and my body are telling me that, after all the wonderful, exciting and intense years on the pitch, it's now time to carry out a different role within my club. One that I am not yet able and allowed to say much about but which I hope will have something to do with the BVB fans, with whom I feel very connected and to whom a lot to be thankful for," said Wolfgang de Beer.
"Teddy" began his career with Dinslaken-based club TV Jahn Hiesfeld, whom he left to join MSV Duisburg, where made his first Bundesliga appearance as an A-Youth player on 22 May 1982. In 1986, then aged 22, de Beer moved to Borussia Dortmund to serve as back-up to first-choice keeper Rolf Meyer. But Meyer sustained an injury before the first competitive game and de Beer got his chance. Coach Reinhard Saftig trusted the youngster and was rewarded, with de Beer delivering a series of strong performances as BVB qualified for the UEFA Cup, despite having only avoided the drop via the play-off the season before. De Beer was a shot-stopper with quick reactions, who was strong both on the line and in dominating the penalty area. He was a key figure as Borussia secured triumph in the 1989 DFB Cup.
Even in his time as the second-choice goalkeeper − first behind Stefan Klos, who ousted him in the 1991/92 season, and later Jens Lehmann − the popular figure impressed with his flawless commitment and sporting conduct. In 2001, the A-license holder joined the coaching staff, where he spent 17 successful years working with goalkeepers such as Jens Lehmann, Roman Weidenfeller, Mitch Langerak and Roman Bürki.