Hannover 96 players to wear Robert Enke No.1 tribute shirt

Ollie Irish

18th, November 2009

1 Comment


This is the special shirt which Hannover 96 will wear for their Bundesliga game against Schalke 04 tonight. As you can see, it features a No.1 in the middle of the chest, to honour Robert Enke, the Hannover goalkeeper who took his own life last Tuesday.

Given that Enke was hardly a football superstar, I find the overwhelming reaction to his death surprising but also very touching. I never even saw Enke play, but I won’t mind admitting I shed a few tears on hearing about his desperately sad story – it’s clear that Germany as a nation has also been deeply affected by Enke’s loss.

I guess there’s a very good reason why Enke’s death has touched so many people – in today’s frantic, information-driven world, depression affects the lives of most of us, if not directly then through friends and family.

I’m sure that a suprisingly high number of professional sportsmen – who on the surface have it all but must also cope with the relentless, crushing pressure to perform – suffer from depression, but of course it is so difficult to admit it – for example, look at how people reacted when Stan Collymore admitted he suffered from depression: “Pull yourself together Stan”, “Stop being such a flake”, “Man up” etc.

If one good thing comes from Enke’s tragic death, it must be the destigmatisation of mental illness – especially in sport, where it is seen, quite wrongly, as a sign of weakness.

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Posted in Bundesliga, Kits & fashion

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa says:

    “Given that Enke was hardly a football superstar, I find the overwhelming reaction to his death surprising but also very touching.”

    It was the fact that he wasn’t like all the other superstars. That he was still human. That played a big part for sure.

    Enke was consistently one of the best German goalkeepers over the past few years and he was en route to become Germany’s new #1. His contract at Hannover was expiring and he was rumored to move to a big club on a free transfer. The whole superstar thing for all the world to see was a realistic possibility for the time after the World Cup. In Germany though, he already had a similar status and in Hannover he was a legend already anyway.

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