Wolfgang “Teddy” de Beer is a native of the Ruhr region. He took part in 216 official matches for Borussia Dortmund and won many titles as a soccer player and goalkeeper’s coach. Almost nobody knows aluminum soccer goals as well as he does, even though he is a trained joiner

Wolfgang “Teddy” de Beer is a native of the Ruhr region. He took part in 216 official matches for Borussia Dortmund and won many titles as a soccer player and goalkeeper’s coach. Almost nobody knows aluminum soccer goals as well as he does, even though he is a trained joiner

IN MY ELEMENT
ALUMINUM

“And the aluminum suddenly broke”

Readingtime 1 minutes

ProtokollFELIX ABRAHAMS

PHOTOGRAPHY ALEXANDRE SIMOES

Publication day6TH August 2021

Included Media

At the beginning of my career, we still played with goal posts made of wood. They were square, and it hurt a lot if you collided with them. We were very happy later on, when we got goals made of aluminum, although we had to get used to them because the goal posts were suddenly round and the balls bounced off completely differently. At least collisions with the goalposts no longer hurt as much. Moreover, the new goals were more durable because they couldn’t rot like wood.

My mother loves to relate how I as a four-year-old was watching UEFA Euro on TV in 1968 and told her that she would see me playing there one day. At the age of eight, I then took part in a match as a left-back. Our goalkeeper was unable to take part in the following match, so I took over his position between the goal posts. That was a good thing too, because I couldn’t have made much money as an outfield player.

I joined Borussia Dortmund in 1987. My first match against FC Bayern was more or less the game of my life. It was followed by our win of the German championship in 1989 and the most successful time in the history of the Dortmund-­based soccer club. The German Cup was the most important title for me personally, because I was playing on the field. I was the main goalkeeper until 1993, after which I was the backup goalie for several years. I was still able to help the team in that position, because I could put pressure on the main goalkeeper. The trainer knew that I was there for him whenever he needed me.

I also witnessed the legendary goal incident of Madrid in 1998. It was really weird. We were preparing ourselves for the Champions League semifinals against Real when the goal suddenly fell over shortly before the match was about to begin. It occurred because some of the Spanish fans had climbed on top of the safety fence to which the goal was attached. It caused the fence to buckle and drag the goal down with it. The aluminum broke right before this important match, of all things. We had to wait for more than an hour until a replacement goal finally arrived from Real Madrid’s training field and was set up. In the end, we lost 0-2.

After spending 14 years as an active player, I became part of Borussia’s coaching staff in 2002. I was a goalkeeper’s coach for a total of 17 years. I now work in the fan department and talk with BVB fans from all over the world.

Film: Christoph Bauer

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