A warrior looks back on 75 years - on the 15th May 1942, Dortmund footballing legend Dieter “Hoppy” Kurrat was born. One of the most popular footballers in Borussia Dortmund’s history is a stalwart of the club. Born in Dortmund, the 162cm small endurance runner learnt his trade at FC Merkur (1949 to 56), before Dortmund took him to Borsigplatz. This BVB maestro, with genuine loyalty and conscientiousness, carried out his duties impeccably and with unflinching passion until 1974.


Kurrat, who played 612 games in black and yellow, ran out 247 times in the Bundesliga, scoring nine goals, and played in 21 DFB Cup and European Cups, was the first to be given a farewell game at the end of his tenure at BVB. 20,000 people cheered him on in the then newly built Westfalenstadion in 1974, where he was carried on the shoulders of his former teammates off the pitch.

Max Merkel, the bigshot from Vienna, had brought the 18-year-old to Borussia, where he quickly became a regular. "At the beginning, I was still addressing the other players with the formal address,"; Hoppy likes to tell the story of his extraordinary career, where he became the 1963 German Champion, 1965 DFB Cup winner and 1966 European Cup winner. He wore the federal eagle once in the U23. That he didn’t get to make more appearances did not take any more centimetres off his diminutive stature. Rather, he lamented "the cowboys and ducks at the DFB" and declared: "that was not my thing!"

World stars like Benfica’s Eúsebio, Inter Milan's Suarez or the German world champion, Wolfgang Overath from Cologne, were driven mad by the "terrier". "Hoppy" had them all in his back pocket. After finishing his 18 years at BVB, he was still playing for SV Holzwickede for four years, and in 1976 he became the German amateur champion with this club, confirming the exemplary attitude of this exceptional sportsman. In Holzwickede, where he and his wife Marga ran the pub "Hoppys Treff" for 30 years, he became just as much of an idol as he was and will be in Dortmund.

As a member of the team led by his best friend Theo Redder, with whom he enjoyed great journeys to Egypt and to the USA, as well as a member of the Council of Elders, "Hoppy" was and still is a welcome asset. His mother-joke, which he would use in other’s company, spread cheerfulness and merriment.

The father of two children and Grandpa of five grandchildren is also a family man. Marga has always remained his greatest support and true love.

"Hoppy", we wish you the best of health during these times, which have suffered with you. Because you are still "the small one, who was always the greatest!"

Fritz Lünschermann