German win ‘expected’
Only a staunch German supporter would call the breaking of a 24- year football drought ‘‘expected’’.
Football fanatics everywhere glued their eyes to the FIFA world cup final, amongst them was Tokoroa’s Horst Manthey.
German born Manthey sat in anticipation during the final moments of the Germany versus Argentina match.
A Deutschland flag sat below the television in his Waipuna St home.
The 71-year old took it up a notch with his German football cap and 1954 replica football shirt attire.
As soon as the final buzzer went, the life-long Tokoroa AFC club member claimed bragging rights.
‘‘ I had about half a dozen friends calling me to congratulate me,’’ he said in a faded German accent.
It has been a long time coming though, as Manthey had been waiting for another win since 1990.
But there was always confidence in his beloved team.
‘‘It was to be expected, when you look at the records, Brazil and Germany are way out in front,’’ he said.
And with two generations there to celebrate, the win was just as sweet.
‘‘They never lost affinity with Germany, I made sure of that.’’
The momentous occasion also brought back memories.
His love for the game started at 11 years old when he witnessed the first televised world cup final in a little Hamburg pub.
He can recall it all, right down to the three inch black and white television in the crowded German pub.
‘‘You can imagine a room like this [his lounge room] with about 100 people in it . . . there was dancing and singing ‘Deutschland Deutschland’ – they aren’t as good at singing as the English are though.’’
It was the first memory for Manthey but certainly not his last.
‘‘That’s all you do in Germany, we used to come home from school, pack our stuff away and go out to play [football].’’
It consumed his free time and like most dreamy youths, saw himself as an upcoming star.
But at 16- years old he was ‘‘dragged away’’ to Kawerau.
‘‘I would have been playing for Germany otherwise,’’ he said half jokingly.
He may have made his life in New Zealand but home is where the heart is.
The father and grandfather has watched every German world cup game since.
And he even managed to make an appearance in the packed crowd at the 1974 Munich final.
‘‘I was literally shaking,’’ he said.
Thrilling, yes, but nothing compared to a World Cup win.
Fanatics: Staunch German football fan Horst Manthey and grandson Billy are proud of their world cup winning German team.