Robert Enke′s widow believes former footballer died a martyr | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 20.08.2017
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Robert Enke's widow believes former footballer died a martyr

Eight years after Robert Enke's death, his widow Teresa spoke to German football magazine "kicker" about depression in football and her husband's tragic story.

Robert Enke would have been 40-years-old on August 24, 2017. Eight years since the goalkeeper's death, the perception and understanding of depression has changed in society, and also in football.

"Robbie died a martyr," Teresa Enke told German football magazine "kicker" in an interview. "It would have been nice if he could have witnessed it. That the topic isn't as stigmatized as before, and how open interaction is - this is progress."

The Robert Enke Institute was founded in 2010 and raises awareness about mental health disorders and heart disease in children. Last month, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the institute with the chairman saying they would be keen to transfer the progress made in Germany to football in England.

In her interview with, Teresa Enke added a plea to all players in the game today: "Don't laugh about it. You should be able to be sensitive with and listen to one another. Hiding it is the worst you can do. It costs so much energy. It's not the right path, as the case of my late husband showed."

Pressure is often the problem in football, and that was the case for Robert Enke. "His problem was the public sphere. He thought he had to hide. It constrained him. He was imprisoned - even in his battling of the disease."

Enke spent most of his career at Hannover 96, and was capped eight times for Germany. On November 10, 2009, aged 32, Enke took his own life.

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