Borussia Dortmund have won 15 major trophies throughout their history: the Club World Cup, the Champions League, the European Cup Winners' Cup, eight Bundesliga titles and four DFB-Pokal wins. Probably the most important of the lot was claimed on 24 June 1989, when the Black & Yellows brought an end to a trophy drought stretching back over 20 years and gave their loyal supporters reason to be proud once more. The cup win in 1989 would pave the way for considerable future success. 

''We had the chance to win a trophy for the first time since 1966,'' says the captain back then Michael Zorc: ''It was the starting point of what proved to be a very successful era, with the second-place finish in 92, the UEFA Cup final in 93, the back-to-back titles in 95 and 96 and the Champions League win in 1997.''

Borussia Dortmund, the 1966 European Cup Winners' Cup winners, versus Werder Bremen, the 1988 Bundesliga champions. The former a club steeped in tradition, the latter combining tradition and success in equal measure. Over the past season the difference between the two clubs hadn't been all that great. Seven points separated seventh-placed Dortmund from third-placed Bremen, who came into the game as favourites and managed to seize a 1-0 lead in the first 15 minutes thanks to a goal from future World Cup winner (and future BVB player) Karl-Heinz Riedle.


But before Werder Bremen could pull further in front (they had the chances to do so), Norbert Dickel found the back of the net to make it 1-1. BVB coach Horst Köppel had set up his team astutely. Frank Mill didn't play up front as a classic strike partner to Dickel; instead, he operated on the left wing, where Michael Rummenigge and Andy Möller were also frequently to be found. It was Zorc who played the ball to Mill around the halfway line on the 21-minute mark. Mills drove forward down the left, evading the sliding challenge of Bremen's Wolter and powering past Thomas Schaaf before drilling a cross towards the penalty spot. Rune Bratseth misjudged the delivery and the onrushing Dickel was well-placed to guide the ball into the back of the Bremen net and draw the two sides level at 1-1.

At the beginning of the first half, Mill was required to clear the ball off the goalline after a mistake by Thomas Helmer. The resultant corner led to chaos in the Dortmund penalty box, with Riedle having three consecutive chances to reestablish the Bremen lead. It was a very close encounter in the heat of summer. Whoever scored next would be in the driving seat. Werder head coach Otto Rehhagel made an attacking change in bringing on Ordenewitz to replace Otten and thus increase the pressure on BVB. Mill, who had an immense game, posed a constant threat down the other end. Soon enough he had his rewards: Zorc played a ''no-look'' pass into the box, where Mills was on hand to head the ball home and make it 2-1 in the 58th minute. 

Two goals in quick succession then proved decisive. In the 73rd minute, Dickel stretched out his leg to make it 3-1 before Michael Lusch, who had come on as a substitute seconds earlier, finished off a counter-attack to extend the lead to 4-1. Werder were shocked. Borussia's victory was now beyond any doubt.

A brace for Dickel! There could be no doubting his footballing qualities. With 12 goals in the league, he was Borussia's leading scorer in the 1988/89 season. He had also scored the important second Dortmund goal in the Round of 16 win over Schalke 04 (3-2). However, he went down injured in the semi-final against Stuttgart (2-0) and had to undergo meniscus surgery just seven weeks before the final, which took place exactly 46 days after the operation. 

''As a footballer, finals don't come around all that often. I felt pretty good, even if shooting with my instep was awfully painful. Of course, I made sure not to tell anyone. I couldn't expect to be playing from the start, even though I had been hoping I would. At least by being included in the squad, I had reached my first goal. When we arrived in Berlin, it initially looked as though we would line up with an additional defender in Bernd Storck.''

After the intervention of then-president Gerd Niebaum, captain Michael Zorc and midfield ace Andy Möller, coach Köppel decided to field Dickel up front instead of midfielder Bernd Storck. It proved to be the right decision.

Since then, Norbert Dickel has always and will always be the ''hero of Berlin''. But Frank Mill also had a key role to play with his performance: ''I assisted the goals for 1-1 and 3-1, scored the 2-1 goal and made a clearance off the line just before that. These were the best moments I got to experience in my life as a footballer.'' The 89 win was also a product of remarkable team spirit. ''We had fantastic camaraderie,'' says Mill: ''Just imagine, after every training session, seven or eight boys would sit in the dressing room with Bomber Wiegand, who was the kit man at the time. We'd drink coffee, eat cake and tell each other a few stories. I don't know if you still get that today.''

And Dickel is still there: ''I don't believe this game had an impact on my career ending early. I did everything right that day in Berlin. If I hadn't been involved, I wouldn't be working at the headquarters of Borussia Dortmund today. My knee is gone, but my life has panned out pretty well.

Boris Rupert