Who can claim to be on the field for two teams from two countries in six hours? Well, two years later Mark Hughes copied me, but I do not know of any other example.
It is unthinkable today that the days of competition between national and club teams fall in one day. But Denmark need a point in Ireland to qualify for the World Cup in Mexico that afternoon. In the evening, Bayern went to Bochum in the 16th round of the DFB Cup. Just like no team wants to do without me, I really wanted to help both teams.
Uli Hones finally had the crazy idea that I should play both games. After the game we can take a flight straight from Dublin to Bochum. Of course, it’s only imaginable because of the different kick-off times and time differences.
At that time when Uli confronted me with this idea, I really wanted to, and I challenged myself as an athlete. I was the prime age of a football player and had good legs. National coach Sepp Piontech assured Bayern that he would replace him soon if the score was good, and Bayern coach Udo Latte agreed to this compromise. So there was nothing stopping the crazy project.
It was 1-1 at the break in Dublin, but Peontech told me he could not replace me yet. Uli Hoeneß stood on the side and looked at the clock with the clock. I was upset. Every minute counts now. Soon we took the lead, and Sepp still made no move for change. I was in the final stages of my concentration – how do I get to Bochum on time?
The police took us straight to Tarmac with flashing lights
We made it 3-1 in the 58th minute and finally let me go. It was four-thirty. I rushed to the booth and took a quick shower like never before. With wet hair I ran out of the stadium, jumped into the car to the oven, and the engine started. It was a race against time.
An Irish police motorcycle gave us flashing lights and sirens directly into the tarmac at Dublin Airport. We boarded the chartered Learjet and headed out. About an hour apart, we arrive in Dൽsseldorf shortly after 7 p.m. So no more time wasted.
After landing we rested on the autobahn to Porsche Bochum. The journey felt endless, and the clock was ticking. We got into a traffic jam in front of Ruhrstadion. Further forward, backward, nothing. I got in the car and went crazy. I finally got out, said “bye” to Uli, and ran the last two kilometers to the stadium. Wanted to play from the start.
By the time I got to the dressing room just before eight, the team was already in the tunnel and wanted to get to the field. Udo Latek came up to me. I’m running late, he told me, and now I have to wait half the time. At that moment the whole tension of the work was gone, and I was disappointed, as you can imagine. Protocol: Benjamin Apitius.
The cup game at Ruhstadian ended 1: 1 after extra time. Bayern won 2-0 in a replay against Bocham. Lerby scored a goal.
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