1960s: Ruhr derby bites for Schalke defender | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.07.2013
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1960s: Ruhr derby bites for Schalke defender

In the derby against Borussia Dortmund in 1969, Schalke's Friedel Rausch was bitten by a police dog. He played on despite the pain in his rear – and the story made him famous.

Right from the start of the Bundesliga the derbies between regional Ruhr rivals Schalke and Borussia Dortmund were always fought with a special passion.

But the match on September 6, 1969 got a special place in the history books - is a date that Friedel Rausch will never forget.

The Schalke defender had a reputation for being especially tough and never shirking a fight. But even he was taken by surprise by the shocking Dortmund 'foul' on him, after his team had taken the lead.

All hell broke loose when Hansi Pirkner shot the Royal Blues into the lead at Dortmund's sold-out Rote Erde (Red Earth) Stadium.

With no fences around the pitch, the fans stormed past security and onto the playing field.

Mitarbeiter des Ordnungsdienstes stehen am 06.09.1969 in Dortmund, mit ihren Hunden an der Leine, zusammen. Beim Fußball-Bundesligaspiel zwischen Borussia Dortmund und Schalke 04 waren die Ordner mit ihren vierbeinigen Helfern nicht in der Lage, die Laufbahn von Zuschauern zu räumen. Stattdessen bissen die Hunde im allgemeinen Durcheinander die Schalker Spieler Friedel Rausch und Gerhard Neuser. Foto: Hannes Hemann +++(c) dpa - Report+++

Ordnerhunde bissen Schalke-Spieler

Among the furor, the leashed guard dogs became excited. And in the bustle of the crowd, the unthinkable happened.

Rausch said he felt a sudden pain: "And when I turned around I saw a dog had sunk its teeth firmly into my backside. He had broken free and had then jumped into the kerfuffle on the pitch and then just grabbed hold of my backside."

Tetanus shot before playing on

The German Shepherd 'Rex' bit vigorously and handed Friedel Rausch a painful and lasting memory; a four-centimeter-long scar still adorns his bottom.

But the game had to continue for Rausch until the final whistle.

"There were no substitutions back then, so I had to play through. I got a bandage and a Tetanus shot against infection at half-time. That was it. Then I continued to play." His Schalke teammate Gerhard Neuser was also attacked, but he stayed in the change rooms with a bite to the thigh.

The memorable game ended 1-1, but the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (German Football Association) acted: From then on dogs were only allowed at the stadium with a muzzle.

And Rausch, who spent long nights unable to sleep on his back, got compensation.

"I got a pain and suffering allowance from Dortmund of 300 marks (150 euros), which in those days was a lot," he said.

Schalke counters with lions

At the return leg in Gelsenkirchen Schalke demonstrated a sense of humor.

Club boss Gunter Siebert brought in tame lions from the zoo in nearby Westerhold and let them run with security.

Rausch, meanwhile, had to put up with months of mockery and jest.  He was greeted with barking noises on the street and from opposing fans in the stadium.

But he took it in his stride. In fact he quite enjoyed the fame and told his story over and over again, even on TV sports news shows.

He maintained his sense of humor over the incident, as proved by his quick reply when asked what would have happened had the dog bit his front and not his rear.

"Then, the dog would have lost all his teeth," he said.