Flashback: Ten-man Bayern shocked by Uerdingen in 1985 DFB-Pokalfinale

Olympiastadion, Berlin, 26.05.1985

FC Bayern München’s campaign to retain the DFB-Pokal in 1984/85 would not start auspiciously as they struggled to see off non-league BV 08 Lüttringhausen with ten men in the first round of the competition, but they would show far less mercy in the second round with part-timers TSV Friesen Hänigsen being subjected to an eight-goal thrashing. 1-0 and 3-1 wins against Waldhof Mannheim and Bayer 04 Leverkusen would be enough to secure their place in the semi-finals, and a replay of the previous year’s final showpiece against Borussia Mönchengladbach would see Die Roten once again taken into extra time before Danisf international Søren Lerby settled the issue from the penalty spot four minutes from the end of the first fifteen-minute period.

In reaching the final, Udo Lattek’s side would be not only hunting down their eighth DFB-Pokal, but also their first domestic double since 1969. Their opponents would be Karl-Heinz Feldkamp’s solid but unspectacular Bayer 05 Uerdingen, a workmanlike team that had largely flown under the radar in finishing in a respectable eighth place in the Bundesliga. Not surprisingly, Bayern would be the red-hot favourites.

The two league meetings between the two sides earlier in the season had seen Bayern come out on top with a 3-1 win in Krefeld and a far more competitive 2-1 result in Munich, but despite Uerdingen’s reputation as a robust unit nobody would be expecting anything other than a Bayern victory when the two teams lined up in West Berlin on the last Sunday of May 1985. Having been played in a number of different stadiums since the Second World War the final of the DFB-Pokal would finally return to Berlin, signalling a new era with the veritable Olympiastadion being touted as Germany’s “Wembley”.

In my ongoing mission to keep up with Bayern’s progress whilst at school in the south west of England I had decided to experiment with longwave radio, and more by luck than design I would stumble across what was a rather scratchy sound coming from a German station. Amid the beeping, buzzing and hissing I could pick up the words “München”, “Berlin” and “Pokal”, and with everybody else out and about I retreated to my dormitory to spend the afternoon with my Walkman. Even if I could pick up a fraction of what was going on, it was better than nothing at all – and I would always be able to verify things later on the teletext and the following week in that small section of the sports pages reserved for European results.

I’d join the match after around a quarter of an hour, with the score already at 1-1. Dieter Hoeneß had opened the scoring in the eighth minute for Bayern with a cracking left-footed effort, but within a minute skipper Klaus Augenthaler would inadvertently help on a left-wing cross from Uerdingen winger Werner Buttgereit, setting up midfielder Horst Feilzer who cracked the ball past ‘keeper Raimond Aumann – in for the injured Jean-Marie Pfaff – into the Bayern net.

The underdogs were setting the pace with Libero and captain Matthias Herget in particularly fine form, and Icelandic international Lárus Guðmundsson would have the ball in the net only to have his effort disallowed for offside – a really bad decision from the linesman, as I would later discover – and Bayern could consider themselves lucky to head into the dressing room at half-time with the score still at 1-1. By now I had managed to get a steady if faint signal, and dared not meddle around with the tuning during the break.

Less than three minutes into the second half Bayern would receive a major blow, with Wolfgang Dremmler sent off for a late challenge on the dangerous and highly mobile Wolfgang Schäfer. Being unable to see what was going on I would have no real idea whether the dismissal had been merited or not, but it must have been bad as Dremmler was shown a straight red card. Playing against a energetic and committed Uerdingen side that had more than held their own during the first half had been difficult enough, but now Bayern would have to play the remaining forty or so minutes with just ten men.

Things wouldn’t get any better. With the commentator getting increasingly excited as Uerdingen continued to press, I felt that a genuine shock was in the offing. Six minutes past the hour another Uerdingen attack initiated by the classy Herget saw Buttgereit release the dangerous Schäfer, who beat a lumbering Norbert Eder before tucking the ball past a grounded Aumann.

The Bayern coach responded by replacing defender Holger Willmer for another attacker in Michael Rummenigge, but there was to be no comeback from a beleaguered Bayern. Indeed, their opponents could easily have won by a bigger margin. Friedhelm Funkel sent the ball flying high over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy, and substitute Peter Loontiens would do all of the hard work to create a shooting chance only to scuff his shot straight at Aumann. With Feldkamp’s side dominating every facet of the game in the second half, there was only ever going to be one winner, and as I sat back to scribble the details into my scrapbook there really wasn’t much to write about.

At the time I would think about Bayern being reduced to ten men and whether it might have made any difference to the outcome, but having watched the game with a slightly clearer head some years later I don’t think it would have made any difference. Dremmler’s red card was perfectly justified, Bayern had been completely out-thought and outplayed, and Uerdingen’s first major trophy had been well deserved. I would just have to wait a little longer to see the domestic double.

In a sad postscript to the history of this match, Horst Feilzer – the scorer of Uerdingen’s first goal – would pass away after a brief illness at the age of fifty-two.

FC Bayern München 1:2 (1:1) Bayer 05 Uerdingen
D. Hoeneß 8. / Feilzer 9., Schäfer 66

FC Bayern: Aumann, Willmer (71. M. Rummenigge), Dremmler, Eder, Augenthaler (c), Lerby, Pflügler, Matthäus, D. Hoeneß, Wohlfarth (51. Beierlorzer), Kögl

Uerdingen: Vollack, Herget (c), Wöhrlin, Brinkmann, van de Loo, Feilzer (60. Loontiens), F. Funkel, W. Funkel, Buttgereit, Schäfer, Guðmundsson (82. Thomas)

Yellow Cards: Matthäus, Hoeneß / Feilzer, van der Loo
Red Cards: Dremmler 48. / –

This extract is from Rick’s almost finished FC Bayern opus, covering his first thirty-three years as a supporter of FC Bayern München.

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London-based but with his heart firmly in Fröttmaning, Rick Joshua's love of German football goes back more than thirty years and has witnessed everything from the pain of Spain '82 and the glory of Italia '90 to the sheer desolation of Euro 2000. This has all been encapsulated in the encyclopaedic Schwarz und Weiß website and blog, which at some three hundred or so pages is still not complete. Should you wish to disturb him, you can get in touch with Rick on Twitter @fussballchef. This carries a double meaning, as he can prepare a mean Obazda too.

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