One to One with Borussia Dortmund's 70's Player Alfons Sikora about Life and Football

Benjamin McFadyean  |  Tuff-Questions  |  2 Months Ago

Alfons Sikora, a forgotten hero of the bygone days of Borussia Dortmund’s legendary comeback to Bundesliga of Germany and also one of the most instrumental strikers for FC Mulheim, came unhinged in an exclusive interview with Benjamin McFadyean, Jersey’s Bundesliga correspondent.


Sikora started the interview, heaping praise on Ben’s previous conversation with one of his former teammates at Rot-Weiss Essen, Manni Burgsmuller.


Alfons was roped in by Borussia Dortmund in the season of 1971-72 just as they were relegated to the second division after an abysmal outing in that year’s Bundesliga. He was one of the best strikers Altena had ever produced and his phenomenal strike force riveted the Yellow Army’s attention as they were in desperate need of a good quality striker, who could again pave the way for them to the premier division.


A lifelong supporter of Dortmund, Sikora confessed that he would have played free for the club and the fact that he was getting paid in exchange of his services, made a dream come true.

While talking about HSV and Dortmund’s relegation, he mentioned that a team in deeply entrenched crisis needs the descent to grace them as a necessary evil. He drew contrast between Dortmund’s toughest phases where it took the Die Borussen four long years to claw back to the league of elites.


He paid his respects to German legend, Jurgen Schutz who graced legendary clubs like AC Turin and AS Roma in the most financially strong league of that time. He also said that despite the presence of legends like Schutz, German football was revolving around youth as its bedrock in those times. He made a noteworthy mention of Ingo Peter, Friedel Mensink and Jurgen Wilhelm alongside the likes of himself.


He termed Germany’s triumph at the 1974 World Cup a sheer luck. Germany was under the fire of one of the biggest footballing scandals in the early 70’s. With 52 players being incriminated with the allegations of being fraud which included the likes of Manfred Manglitz, Klaus Fischer, Reinhard Libuda, Rolf Russman and Zoltan Varga, the German national team seemed absolutely clueless for their imminent test in front of the entire world.

A miracle, Sikora very proudly bragged about, was the presence of 1500 spectators in their bout against Preußen Münster in 1972. Dortmund won it 7-0 but as a consequence of the scandal, people used to stay away from the sport. Even Bayern Munich’s fanbase was reduced to half due to this abysmal phase which German football was passing through.


With the departure of so many legends at one go, BVB was left stranded. That is exactly when Sikora and the others graced the club. Amongst the legends, Hoppy Kurrat and Wolfgang Paul were the ones left after the mass exodus of the footballers.


With Walter Kliemt being at the helm of affairs in the club’s financial morass, the club sold its training ground in Brackel to the Dortmund City. Despite the sale, the club failed to secure its license for the second division.


With Wosab and Neuberger gone, the team had to start anew with their strategies and their training. Young players like Reinhold Mathis hailing from Sportfreunde Siegen and Mensink from OSC Bremerhaven graced the club. It was no longer a financial battle that they were waging but a battle to prove their comeback with sheer talent. Like they say that the hour before the dawn is the darkest, similarly, Borussia’s year before the rise, 1975, was the most difficult for the team.


According to Sikora, the birth of Westfalenstadion was the watershed for the fans. There was a whole new verve and fans started coming to the new venue. One of the most important things which happened in that phase was the passing of the presidential mantle to Heinz Gunther.


Alfons was proud of stating the fact that Borussia Dortmund’s main strength lied in the backing of the entire city behind the club.


The best part for this former German legend was his heydays with Mülheim. It was never a stalwart and with only a population of 1, 00,000 inhabitants, the club started playing gritty football with puffed up spirits and finished in a prestigious eleventh spot in the second league.


When enquired about his astonishing 11 goals with Mülheim, Sikora exhibited a flamboyant verve on his face which read the rest of the words. The triptych of Sikora, Osieck and Herbert Stoffmehl were deemed as celebs for the club infront of 10-15000 spectators.


The crowd would line up to give the players a beer, if they could win a derby for the city. Sikora received his first wish plate then: MH-AK 1949. It was the city, his initials and his year of birth. Finally, arrived the breakthrough in his career as he was transferred to Rot-Weiss Essen. His opponents were the legendary Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer and Wolfgang Overath.


Due to financial crisis, Mülheim was compelled to sell its talented players and they were replaced by a slew of young players, who never really made their mark and the club nosedived into oblivion.


Sikora’s career ended with a heartrending injury which could not be treated back then. He is still happy about the fact that he has played in beautiful stadiums, scored valuable goals and has rocked legendary opponents back and forth.


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