Pelé at Kickers Offenbach: OFC remembers the visit of a world star
Created: 03/01/2023 14:13
By: Holger Apple
Pelé, the greatest footballer of all time, is buried in his native Santos, Brazil.
He also left his mark in Offenbach, including at Kickers.
Offenbach – Offenbach was already in a state of excitement days before the appointment.
Not only because of the possible return of the Kickers to the Bundesliga, but because of the prominent guest.
Brazil's soccer hero Pelé had announced that he would be there on May 20, 1983 at Bieberer Berg.
Kickers Offenbach needed a win against Spvgg. Fürth this Friday evening to achieve the big goal of climbing up behind SV Waldhof Mannheim, reports op-online.de.
OFC outfitter PUMA had three-time world champion Pelé as a guest at the company headquarters in Herzogenaurach.
The Vice President at the time, Siggi Leonhardi, and coach Lothar Buchmann had made contact with Hans Nowak, PUMA's head of PR, at a football get-together.
Kick-off on the Bieberer Berg.
Pelé in front of the fan stands with captains Kurt Geinzer (right) and Bernhard Bergmann and the referees.
Pelé at OFC: The Offenbacher Kickers remember
And Pelé actually came to the Bieberer Berg, he did the unofficial kick-off with the captains Kurt Geinzer (OFC) and Bernhard Bergmann (Fürth).
After goals from Franz Michelberger, Martin Kubosch and Walter Krause, Pelé saw the Kickers win 3-2 and thus their last promotion to the top flight to date.
"World star Pelé was a guest and made the ascent - that was a wonderful day," reports Walter Krause and adds: "Pelé was a bit isolated there, but you can always find contact among athletes.
He wasn't snooty in the slightest, presented himself to us as a fine guy, a good guy."
The Brazilian gala technician was in Offenbach for the first time in 1974. He was a guest of the sports festival in the town hall.
In 1977 he came to the hall in the south of Offenbach for the second time - for the big gala 1000 years of Offenbach.
"Pelé's star shines in the town hall," was the headline of our editor Gerhard Müller in the October 17 edition after the football-tennis match with some old stars.
“The focus was – as was to be expected – Edson Arantes di Nascimento.
A lady was reminded of Spain by the sound of this name.
Understandable, because who knows that behind this, his real name, by the way, is none other than Pelé,” reported Gerhard Müller in witty words.
Football tennis in the town hall.
This picture with Pelé and Helmut Haller can be found in the October 17, 1977 issue of the Offenbach-Post.
© op archive
World footballer Pelé always had a smile on his face at Offenbacher Kickers
With a view to the sporting performance on the Stadthalle parquet floor, he wrote: The Brazilian's appearance in the smart dress of a beverage manufacturer was professional.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, Pelé held back a bit.
Not he, but Helmut Haller delighted the 1200 fans in the stands with his brilliant showpieces.
Haller from Augsburg, who died in 2012, and Pelé, both World Cup participants in 1962 in Chile, 1966 in England and 1970 in Mexico, knew each other well.
"Disgraceful": Store detective exposes the customer in the Penny market as a thief for no reason
Forgot where the car is: man finds missing Mercedes from eBay ad
Violent fans: great regret after the cancellation of the football tournament
Trouble because of rent for Ukraine refugees - landlord pissed off
Passengers complain of ear problems – Lufthansa crew cancels flight to Frankfurt
Fancy a journey of discovery?
Carlo Enders still fondly remembers Pelé's performance.
The now 89-year-old organized and moderated the athletes' awards in the town hall for many years and was also part of the "OF-1000" organizational team in 1977.
According to his own statements, he was responsible for Pelé in the town hall.
“Pelé was a very pleasant guest, polite, easy to talk to and always with a smile.
He had neither airs nor special requests.
Not only was he a football legend, his human nature was also very likeable,” says Enders, who was chairman of the Offenbach dance sport club Maingold-Casino for 45 years.
Many years later, Kickers Offenbach are still an institution in the region.
The OFC is particularly impressive at home games.