"5000 – and that was only the first half" Eicke Lenz captured every game – with the camera and with words for the local newspaper. © Günter Herkner
Eicke Lenz was at home on all pitches in the circle – as a player, referee and reporter. Now he has passed away completely unexpectedly. We say goodbye to a football friend and dear colleague.
Erding – It was exactly 21:28 p.m. when Eicke Lenz called his daughter Silja one last time. He had cycled 3003 kilometers in the past two months, he reported proudly. "Not bad for me as a middle-aged person." That's how he liked to call himself. You really couldn't tell that he was 78 years old. That's why we couldn't believe the news that Eicke Lenz had died that night.
He fell asleep in bed and never woke up. Much too early – it's not just his wife Angelika, his daughter Silja and his daughter-in-law Marie who think so. Much too early – he would also say himself, "because his mother lived to be 101 years old, and that's what he wanted," says Silja Lenz, who notified the editors just a few hours after her death. "That would have made my father happy so that his open appointments could be assigned."
Two days before his death, the editors had spoken to him on the phone. "Today is the relegation game in Walpertskirchen – do you want to report for us?" Of course he wanted to. Arguably the greatest friend of local amateur football, he never missed a game, especially not the "Game of the Week", for which he was always our preferred line-up. Because the man really knew about football, because that was his life.
Born in Freising in 1944 as the youngest of six children, he moved to Siegen as a student (business administration), where "the Bavarian" (that's what they called him there, although he never spoke dialect at home) caused a sensation as a goal scorer and was therefore given a few marks. "And because I had a guilty conscience about it, I did the goalkeeper training," he once said. His protégé at the time: Peter Endrulat, later goalkeeper in Borussia Dortmund's historic 0-12 defeat of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In the 1983/84 season, FC Eitting hired him as coach. "I think it was his first and last coaching station, because we were relegated from the district league with him as a newcomer," recalls long-time chairman Fred Neudecker. The connection between FCE and Eicke Lenz has never been broken – quite the opposite. It became narrower and narrower (see box).
This also applies to BSG Taufkirchen or FC Forstern, to which he even dedicated his author abbreviation. Where "fcf" was written on it, Eicke Lenz was in it. In Forsterns AH he had ended his own football career - with the Moosinninger Landesliga time as the highlight. It is also fitting that Forstern is emblematic of the success of women's football, which Eicke Lenz accompanied with great interest even when it was still a marginal note everywhere.
He accompanied his daughter Silja to every away game in the national league and flew with her to Turkey, where she took part in the University World Championship. He experienced the Women's World Cup in China on site - and a few weeks ago the sensational promotion of the Forstern U17 juniors to the Bundesliga. He came home late at night, and a few hours later we already had the article – and a lot of pictures. One of his favorite sayings: "I have 5000 photos – and that was only the first half."
He could talk about football with like-minded people for hours – but not only about it. The man, who had family roots in Madeira, spoke Portuguese, he visited art exhibitions of friends, and he was almost daily with the Eittingen brewery boss Christoph Vincenti, whom he helped back on his feet after his stroke with regular walks.
"Daily training" is what Eicke Lenz, who himself was a model of discipline, called it. "It doesn't have to be much, but regularly," was his credo. So he wanted to stay fit even in old age. He started cycling during the pandemic and now sat on the saddle every day. In wind and weather. 3000 kilometers in two months, as mentioned above – 3003 kilometers, to be exact. "The three kilometers were important to him," says Silja Lenz. "He was proud of the fact that he still trumped his self-imposed goal a little. He was an athlete through and through."
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A very good footballer, although he lost his big toe on his right foot in a cycling accident as a child. But also a cunning table tennis player, whose cut balls became a mystery for the opponent, and a driver even on family cycling trips. "Of course he gave us breaks, but at some point he looked nervously at his watch. 'Now we have to move on, otherwise you'll ruin my average time.'" Or maybe it was just pressing him because the next football game was already waiting for him. We will miss our colleague, all footballers in the district will wonder where the bearded lank with the camera and the dry humor is. He will be missed – but will never be forgotten.
Eicke Lenz will be laid to rest in the cemetery on Itzlinger Straße. The date for the funeral has not yet been set,
Reactions to the death of Eicke Lenz:
"I am still shocked by his death and can't believe it. For me, Eicke was an outstanding personality, a person you can hardly find a second time. I consider myself fortunate to have known him personally." Knut Friedrich, chairman of the Erding referees' group. Eicke Lenz was active as a referee for 61 years.
"Eicke was very attached to FC Eitting. At the 2007 general meeting, he was elected press officer. He reliably filled this official position for our club until the end. He always made great contributions about our club anniversaries. He was always a welcome member at our club events, capturing many conversations and moments photographically. In our commemorative publication on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the association, he provided most of the text contributions. With Eicke, we are losing a fine sportsman and companion." Fred Neudecker, long-time chairman of FC Eitting.
"I got to know Eicke a long time ago as a great person – always humanly confident and an absolute football expert. He was always well-disposed towards the BSG and represented our association well in the district with his reports and photos. He was a welcome guest in our club. Eicke, thank you for everything." Ferdinand Schediwy, long-time head of football at BSG Taufkirchen.
"At the last home game of our first women's team, Eicke took the photos and recorded the most important scenes on his notepad. Eicke Lenz helped to promote women's football and make it known beyond the country's borders. He himself had been a member of the club since 1981 and played for some time actively in the AH of FC Forstern. His dedication and passion for football has been a great asset to the club and to us. His loss will be painfully felt." Luky Lukschanderl, Sporting Director of FC Forstern – Women's Football. Pir