Mourning for GDR footballer: Hans-Jürgen Dörner is dead


Status: 01/19/2022 11:28 am

He was one of the best footballers in East Germany. He became an Olympic champion, is a record GDR national player and was the first East German coach to move to the West after reunification. Now Hans-Jürgen “Dixie” Dörner has died at the age of 70.

Hans-Joachim Dörner is dead. The record national player of the GDR national football team and former coach of Werder Bremen died at the age of 70, as announced by his long-time club Dynamo Dresden. “Dixie passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 70 after a long and serious illness,” the statement said.

Holger Scholze, President of Dynamo Dresden, said: “It is incomprehensible, shocking and very, very sad. We still cannot understand that Dixie Dörner should no longer be with us. His death plunges our sports community into deep mourning.”

Olympic champion 1976

As an active soccer player, Döner, known as “Dixie”, was one of the most successful players in East German soccer. Between 1969 and 1986 he made 558 appearances for Dynamo Dresden, scoring 101 goals. He played 100 games for the East German national team. Dörner played in 68 European Cup games, is a five-time East German champion and was Olympic champion in 1976. He was the libero of the East German team that won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Montreal.

Due to his calm playing style as a strategist and football technician, Dörner was also called the “Beckenbauer of Easter”. He was voted footballer of the year three times in East Germany.

In October 2019, Dörner was inducted into the German football “Hall of Fame” along with Helmut Schön, Wolfgang Overath, Jürgen Klinsmann and Oliver Kahn.

As the first East coach in the West

After his active career, Dörner switched to the coaching bench. At first he worked with the East German juniors, later he became Berti Vogts’ assistant for the German national team. In 1996, Dörner was the first East coach to take over a Bundesliga club after reunification with Werder Bremen. As a coach, however, he could never really assert himself. As coach of the DFB youth team, he became runner-up in 1994 with the U18 team.

Later, Dörner worked as a trainer in Zwickau, Cairo and Leipzig, among other places. In recent years he has sat on the board of directors of Dynamo Dresden.


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