On August 24, 1963, Timo Konietzka scored the first Bundesliga goal ever for Borussia Dortmund. But the gate for history remains invisible forever – no photographer has captured it.
On August 24, 1963, the football world was still in order. On this day, the new single-track Bundesliga celebrated its premiere, with 16 teams from all over Germany. Although the newly founded league of purists was already too far away from the sportsmanship of Sepp Herberger (“You must be eleven friends”), all eight games on the first day of the game started at the same time. Even if not at 3:30 p.m. as usual later, but at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
So all clubs had the same chance to go down in the history books with the first Bundesliga goal – Borussia Dortmund finally succeeded with striker Friedhelm “Timo” Konietzka. Konietzka’s place in the annals can no longer be denied. All that is missing is photographic evidence: there is no photo of the very first goal in the Bundesliga.
First Bundesliga goal: All photographers behind the wrong goal
BVB played on the first day of the game in front of 32,000 spectators in the Weser Stadium near Werder Bremen. The photographers present all positioned themselves behind the Dortmund goal, probably because they speculated on a Werder goal. And that despite the fact that Borussia Dortmund started the season as the reigning German champions.
But Konietzka thwarted them early on: in the first minute of the game – after just 58 seconds – he scored the 1-0 for BVB. How this came about can only be reconstructed from stories, such as that of the goal scorer himself: “The ball came to Lothar Emmerich to the left, he ran to the baseline and crossed to the middle. I was about ten meters from the goal and all I had to do was put my foot forward.” There were no television cameras in the stadium at the time. And so the first goal in Bundesliga history remains invisible to this day.
The striker later even offered a reward should someone pull the trigger at the big moment. But without success. There is only one black-and-white picture showing him cheering after the goal with his arms raised. Bremen still won the game 3:2.
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Formative figure of the first Bundesliga years
Konietzka, who was born in the Ruhr area and later became a Swiss citizen, played a key role in the BVB championship last year. At that time, the German championship was still played in a final. In the years that followed, he became one of the defining figures in the newly founded Bundesliga. In 1965 he moved to 1860 Munich, where he scored the first goal of the new Bundesliga season in his very first game.
All in all, Konietzka played 100 games and scored 72 goals – without a penalty, as he always emphasized: “Only Gerd Müller has a better quota than me.” He still holds the record for most goals in the first 100 games, and in 1966 he also won the championship trophy with the lions.
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Six months suspension – and the move to Switzerland
But his departure from the Bundesliga was of an inglorious nature: in October 1966, of all things, Konietzka saw red in the game against his former club Dortmund. He is said to have physically attacked the referee. In the match report, he recorded a kick in the chest and a kick in the shin, and the player is said to have knocked his whistle away. Konietzka himself only admitted to having jostled the referee. However, he was banned for six months.
He then moved to Switzerland, which later became the center of his life. There he met his wife, built an inn and took on a number of coaching jobs after his career. As a coach with FC Zurich, he became Swiss champion three times. Timo Konietzka died in 2012 at the age of 73 – due to an incurable illness he chose euthanasia.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.