Inimitably normal – large train station for Uwe Seeler

“The most beautiful thing in the world is to be normal.” Easily said and yet a motto in life that is difficult to find nowadays, especially in professional football. “One of us” – that is of course and characteristically the name of the film for Uwe Seeler’s 85th birthday, which the Hamburg football legend is celebrating this Friday (November 5th). The jubilee is not doing so well in health terms. Too bad. Therefore, guests, friends and companions from the glorious years with his Hamburger SV and the national team at the NDR matinee on Sunday had to do without the main character.

Anniversary boy greets by video

But then not quite. “We wish you a lot of fun and joy and all the best – toi, toi, toi”, transmitted “Uns Uwe” from his house at the gates of Hamburg via video, which his wife Ilka ended shortly with “and bye”. The warm greeting made up for many of those present for not being able to meet their idol in person.

“Anyone who knows Uwe knows that he would of course have loved to come. But at that age you have to respect that and health comes first.”
— HSV Club-Manager Bernd Wehmeyer

Nevertheless, there was a lot of laughter in the Rolf Liebermann studio. Sometimes also smirked about the familiar and loving togetherness of the married couple, who have been married for 62 years, who also speak authentically in front of the camera and with a good portion of motherly humor and reveal some of their togetherness. That it isn’t always funny with age, for example. “We still have so much ahead of us, sometimes I don’t know whether we can do it,” says Ilka at the beginning of the film. And Uwe? “Getting old is not for cowards,” he says. “But I would still like to do a few more years.”

Dittsche and his idol

Perhaps the funniest anecdote for the 150 matinee guests was contributed by Olli “Dittsche” Dietrich. After a joint flight, the ardent HSV fan finally found the courage to speak to his idol after landing: as he admired him, “I stammered” that as a little boy he wanted to be like him, that he naturally wore his football boots even at night in bed and so on and so forth. At some point Uwe turned around and said: “I know, my Dittsche.” It should only be mentioned in passing that in 2012 Seeler had a legendary guest appearance in the show of the same name on behalf of “Schildkröte”.

Lorenz, Göttlich, Walter and Boldt among the guests

Some of the illustrious crowd of well-wishers at the matinee in the NDR Funkhaus on Rothenbaumchaussee may have remembered it. Max Lorenz (“He even carried the suitcase, a real role model.”) And Dieter Zembski, for example, the two former competitors of Werder Bremen, or the president of Hamburg’s city rivals FC St. Pauli, Oke Göttlich. They all came to honor the person and impeccable sportsman who never played for a club other than Hamburger SV. Hard to imagine today, the current HSV players – sports director Jonas Boldt and trainer Tim Walter also sat in the auditorium – could tell a thing or two about it.

Tschentscher: Great ambassador

Uwe Seeler never had anything in mind with the hunt for big money and the associated “changing fever”. “He is a role model and a great ambassador for our city,” says Peter Tschentscher about the honorary citizen of the Hanseatic city. The Bremen-born First Mayor of Hamburg was six years old when Seeler ended his career in 1972 after 476 games (404 goals) for HSV. Two years before that, he had finished with the national team, with which he was runner-up in England in 1966 and third in Mexico in 1970. His header to make it 2-2 in the quarter-finals against England, scored with the back of his head, a masterpiece, a football memorial, will not be forgotten.

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Inimitably normal – large train station for Uwe Seeler