Lothar Emmerich - Heroes live forever
“Wir sind alle Dortmunder Jungs” (we are all Dortmund boys) the mighty Südtribüne often chants when for example Kevin Grosskreutz joins the green. And during the last years or better the last decades Borussia fans saw a lot of “Dortmunder Jungs”. Some of them were part of the choreo we saw before the 100 year match against Freiburg on December, 19th 2009. For sure, every one of them has his own black’n yellow story and the intention of schwatzgelb.com is to present some of these special stories to you.
So today we want to introduce you to a “Dortmunder Junge” of BVB’s team during the magic Sixties, Lothar Emmerich!
Yes, it has been more than 40 years ago, but Lothar Emmerich or “Emma”, who passed away much too early in 2003, is still alive not only in the minds of older fans! Ask younger people about Lothar Emmerich, I bet the majority of them will give you the right answers. And for those who will hear about Lothar Emmerich now for the first time, how can we describe “Emma” and the time when he played and scored for Borussia Dortmund? Here’s an effort to explain the myth of Lothar Emmerich and the myth of his decade in a few sentences:
Lothar was a high class and always favoured striker, together with his teammates responsible for successful BVB years in a time when today’s big business “merchandising” was nearly unknown in football! Young boys created their Borussia’s jerseys often in do it yourself manner, writing Lothar Emmerich’s well known number “11” with a marker on the back. It was also the time when the music of the Beatles, Stones and other heroes of the Sixties dominated the music charts. In the opinion of many people perhaps the best years of music but for sure great years for Borussia and great years for Lothar Emmerich! On the green he was a goalgetter with a remarkable left hammer, always powerful and always a fair player. Lothar Emmerich was 100 % BVB 09 or better 109%! In our club’s chronicle “Emma’s” story will be for ever one of the most important parts!
Lothar Emmerich was born 1941 in Dortmund-Dorstfeld, a suburb strongly affected by Dortmund’s fomer steel and coal industry. He joined the local club SC Dorstfeld 09 and in 1960 he moved to Borussia Dortmund as outside-left. Responsible for his change to Dortmund’s number one football club was the legendary coach Max Merkel, in later years champion with Munich 1860 and Nuremberg. From 1963/64 until 1968/69 “Emma” had in the Bundesliga 183 appearences for Borussia and scored the impressive number of 115 goals for our club.
Emmerich’s career as one of Borussia’s most effective strikers began to boom when another high class striker, Siegfried “Siggi” Held joined BVB. Lothar Emmerich and “Siggi” Held were Borussia’s pefect duo from 1965 on. “Siggi” Held as centre forward prepared the majority of Lothar Emmerich’s goals. In former European Cup winners cup, when Dortmund became the first German team winning an European title, the British press called Emmerich and Held the “terrible twins”. Unforgettable are the two matches against London club West Ham United with two impressive wins for Borussia (2:1 and 3:1). In 9 European Cup matches 1965/66 “Emma” and “Siggi” were responsible for 18 goals, 14 (!) of them scored by Lothar Emmerich. 1966 was Borussia’s year and of course also the year of Lothar Emmerich: 31(!) goals in Bundesliga season 1965/66, European Cup winner, vice champion behind Munich 1860 and member of West Germany’s team which lost 4:2 after extra time at Wembley in the World Cup final. His 5 international matches with 2 goals for Germany (Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, Sovjet Union and England – all in 1966) made his dream come true. In an interview years after Emmerich left the green as an active player he mentioned: “My childhood dream was to play in black and yellow for Dortmund and in black and white for Germany.” His childhood dream became reality.
During the world Cup 1966 Emmerich scored a goal, which we always remembered because we saw it in 1966 on T.V. or in several T.V. reports many years later. It was the match against Spain when Emmerich scored a wonder goal with a trademark rocket of a shot from a seemingly impossible angle. For many fans perhaps the goal of the century! In season 1966/67 Emmerich was again top scorer in the league: 28 goals together with the young Gerd Müller from Bayern Munich. 18 goals in 1967/68 and 12 goals in 1968/69 closed Emmerich’s striker career in Dortmund. In Borussia’s top scorer list including all Bundesliga goals Lothar Emmerich is at position “3” with 115 Bundesliga goals behind Michael Zorc and Manfred Burgsmüller (131/135 goals).
At the end of the Sixties Borussia was a financially weak club (we all know, history would repeat itself in later years) and Emmerich and Borussia were forced to go separate ways. But Lothar Emmerich’s successful career continued: From 1969 until 1972 he played for Belgian club “K. Beerschot VAC”. 68 matches with 42 goals were proof enough that “Emma” was still in excellent shape and in 1969/70 Emmerich became the top scorer of the Belgian league. After Belgium, Emmerich moved to Austrian club Klagenfurt. In 58 matches from 1974 until 1976 he scored 41 goals, again an extraordinary quota, considering that Klagenfurt always struggled with relegation. “Emma’s” last stations as striker were clubs in Germany’s former Second Division, Region South. For FC Schweinfurt 05 and Würzburg he scored from 1974 - 1978 in total 71 goals. And who was top scorer in this league in 1976/77? Lothar Emmerich! Who else?
In later years “Emma” took up coaching a lot of clubs until 1999. As a coach he worked among others for Bayreuth, Reutlingen, Idar Oberstein and – Mainz 05, Jürgen Klopp’s former club. Due to Emmerich’s great experience and his abilities in personnel management a lot of his teams went up into a higher league. After completion of his work as a coach, Emmerich returned to his roots and to the club where he spent his most successful time. In 1999 he started working as a supporters’ coordinator for Borussia Dortmund. For Emmerich this wasn’t only a job, it was an affair of the heart. When Emmerich guided visitors for sightseeing in Borussia’s Westfalenstadion, often together with his former teammate Alfred “Aki” Schmidt he talked a lot about the “good old days.” Also there was always great demand regarding his opinion and knowledge in Borussia’s daily business.
In the beginning of 2003 Emmerich was diagnosed with lung cancer – a message that shocked all football fans. His answer to beat the disease was typically for his attitude as sportsman: “Ive got all chances to be completely healthy again. You know Emma. He was always a fighter!” Sadly he lost his last fight and Lothar Emmerich passed away on August, 13th 2003. A very sad day! Not only for his family, Borussia and supporters. What will never pass away are our memories about an unblamable person and his excellent work for our club!
Two stars on Dortmund’s walk of fame remind us of Lothar Emmerich: “Star 41” especially for one of Borussia’s best strikers with the unbelievable left hammer and “Star 46” for “Emma’s” goal of the century, the 1:1 equalizer against Spain during the World Cup 1966. Beyond that Dortmund’s Borusseum, the museum for Borussia’s past and present is proud to expose Emmerich’s original jersey of the European cup winner final with Lothar’s legendary “11” on the back.
There’s no doubt about it: Borussia’s heroes will never be forgotten!