Rudi Assauer: “Macho” of the heart


In his inimitable way, was coined by Rudi Assauer of the FC Schalke and the entire League. His Alzheimer’s disease, he made public and sparked a debate. With 74 years, the Ex-Manager, died.

He’d been there, he would have enjoyed these moments. “Rudi Assauer” sang the Fans in the Nord curve. This is there in the Gelsenkirchen Arena where the most loyal supporters of the club gather always and “your” FC Schalke 04 will accompany. The DFB Pokal second round against Fortuna Düsseldorf (4:1) played on this evening, a minor role.

Rather, it was the man who had spent much of his life with and for this great Ruhr area club. Assauer loved the big stage and he was almost two decades of a dominant head of this Association. In this time, he led the Royal Blues from a severe financial distress up to a European Cup victory (1997). Not drew over a dramatic beat at the end of “master of the heart”-season (2001) he is his club up in the top of the table regions of the Bundesliga.

“We all know that without Rudy, we would all not be here. Rudy is the architect of the modern Schalke”, said Supervisory Board Chairman Clemens toennies prior to the kick-off against Düsseldorf and was on the lawn of the Arena, which conceived of the Manager to lead the club into a modern future.

Assauer of the Fans revered today: the Schalker Nordkurve before the Cup game against Düsseldorf

At Schalke, the fulfillment found

Assauer, who was raised Herten “cat Bush,” in the midst of mining, poor air and hard work, had to enforce early on the road in football and also in normal life. With 14 years he started a mechanics apprenticeship and worked a year and a half on the coal mine Ewald in Herten. He was a Bank clerk, teaching. His great love was always football. There, he knew. And there he saw the Chance to make his own path.

With Borussia Dortmund, he was as a player, European Cup winner (1966), as Manager at Schalke, however, he found his fulfillment. Assauer was a “street Kid,” who also led his club as the pond in my shirtsleeves, as he was himself. The people loved him. The former BVB Manager Michael Meier named his then-colleagues once “Kashmir Hooligan”. Assauer of “makers” with the expensive Davidoff cigar in the corner of the mouth, the allowed and the other seems to be no error.

Significant words never embarrassed

“The Loser,” as he was called by all, always respect – but also loving, mimed so often the hard dog. A rough spell, and significant words, he was embarrassed never. “When the snow is melted, you will see where the Shit is,” he remarked about openly, as he spoke about the former betting scandal involving referee Robert Hoyzer. About his relationship with the club, Assauer said: “Either I manage Schalke or Schalke get me.”

Assauer at the height of his success at Schalke in 1997 the UEFA-Cup next to coach Huub Stevens (l.)

Regularly once a week “kicked” it in a gym in Gelsenkirchen with friends and local journalists. Not infrequently, these have to get directly to hear what they had written “crap”. Once spoken, it was done in the matter for him. Fail, he has this training have never. At home, at the Cranger Straße in Gelsenkirchen, relaxed Assauer, then hits and Oldies from WDR 4.

Hard shell, soft core

Rudi Assauer was, however, significantly more sensitive and empathetic than it could have been only guessed. Assauer took care of the that were important to him. The staff and players of the club were part of his family, he is treated sometimes as a Patron but also as a good-hearted dad. “I have to thank him as a footballer and human being so much. Always, if it went bad, I could call him. He was always there for me. Until recently, a fighter,” says Ex-Schalke-Pro Gerald Asamoah on his “Manager”.

It is an irony of fate that, of all things, Assauer got the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Nothing in the football business, almost scary fearless Manager was more scared than before of this disease, which came over his father much too early.

Assauer mid-2017 in the Gelsenkirchen Arena

“My brain, my turnip as above, no longer works. It is not better, rather worse. I must resign myself to the idea. God damn,” said Assauer in 2012, when he had made his illness in a book open to the public.

Alzheimer’s is a Form of dementia, of the approximately 1.7 million Germans suffer, and which is incurable. Each year, more than 300,000 new cases occur in this country.

Heartbroken Farewell

Be saying goodbye to Schalke in the year 2006 was for him, as if him part of his family would always leave. Assauer felt disrespected, the club had guessed, however, are already showing signs of his illness, and an Alternative worked out. The offer to be President of the club, from he declined Despite. He felt his heart club from the yard being chased.

The Westphalian stubborn head, he could never deny. This is the end at Schalke, he never has to wound, even if he attended games of his club until the middle of last year, until it is no longer allowed his disease. The love of his life, he couldn’t just leave you in the lurch.

On Wednesday afternoon, Assauer has lost a long and valiant fight against his illness. The last “Macho” of German football was 74 years old.