Snapshot – The Revierderby’s Legendary Dog Bite

Over the years the Revierderby has produced a number of incredible stories that have gone into Bundesliga history. One of its participants back in 1969 even left the match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 with a permanent mark.

Back on the fourth match day of the 1969/70 season the Stadion Rote Erde was sold out for the derby. Several spectators were close to the sidelines, and the match had to be interrupted several times as spectators came onto the pitch. This also happened in the 37th minute as the Royal Blues took the lead through Hans Pirkner.

A number of Schalke fans went onto the pitch to celebrate with their heroes. The police at the stadium had brought a few dogs in the hope of being able to maintain some order and calm. During the unrest a German Shepard dog by the name of Blitz had a rash reaction, ending up biting the behind of the man who was in front of him.

This might have gone unnoticed if the victim of the bite would have been a fan or a police man. However, it turned out that the lower exterior belonged to Schalke player Friedel Rausch.

Blitz takes a bite

In the book “40 Jahre Bundesliga”(translation: 40 years Bundesliga) Rausch remembers the incident:

“A massive uproar. My pants were soiled with blood. I heard voices. ‘Keep hold of the dog’. A warden from Dortmund had let his German Shepard of the leash. I was carried off the pitch. The pain was immense.”

Rausch was treated on the sidelines with tetanus shot and played through the pain. His teammate Gerd Neuser was also bitten by the dog in his upper thigh and had to be substituted in the 77th minute.

Later it turned out that a thrifty Dortmund fan had brought the dog to the match. He had passed himself off as a warden in order to get into the stadium without paying the entrance fee. The dog by the name of Blitz belonged to his neighbors and was a docile creature.

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The aftermath of the bite

Both Rausch and his teammate Neuser received flowers and 300 DM in pain relief money from BVB. However, the league and all of Germany had a good laugh at Rausch’s expense. Some passers by had fun at Rausch’s expense when the defender was out and about in public. Barking noises followed the Schalke player wherever he went. The fact that Rausch was left with a 6 centimeter scar and had to sleep on his stomach for two weeks went unnoticed by these people.

Comments from opposing players became an every day occurrence for Rausch. He told dfb.de:

“In almost every game there was a guy who made woof woof noises.”

Others made comments along the lines of:

“By god Friedel, you should be happy. Just imagine if that dog had bitten you from the front.”

Rausch’s comeback was more than epic though:

“In that case the tike would have lost his teeth.”

The final laugh

The return leg between the two sides at Schalke’s Parkstadion offered the last plot twist of this saga. The president of the Royal Blues, Günter Siebert, had thought of something special to commemorate the incident.

During the match Schalke’s president had a real life lion on a leash, patrolling the area around the mid circle, causing laughter among those who watched the match. Fortunately nobody was bitten by the lion who was loaned out from a nearby zoo.

All dogs present at the return leg were forced to wear a muzzle. The Bundesliga had decided to enact that precaution in the aftermath of the incident.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 32-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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