Ger­man win ‘ex­pected’

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Photo: BRUCE MERCER/WAIKATO TIMES

Fa­nat­ics: Staunch Ger­man foot­ball fan Horst Man­they and grand­son Billy are proud of their world cup win­ning Ger­man team.

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