Klaus Fischer turns 70 – “Mr. Bicycle Kick still knows where the goal is”
To this day he remains Schalke’s best-ever Bundesliga goal scorer: Klaus Fischer spent eleven successful years as a Royal Blue. During this period, he netted 182 times and regularly amazed the footballing world with his trademark overhead kicks. The Schalke legend celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday 27th December.
The native Bavarian has long-since taken to the Ruhr area. “Gelsenkirchen is our second home now,” said Fischer, after moving up from the South of the country with his with wife Margit back in 1970. A decision that the fan-favourite has never looked back on. He is still asked for photos and autographs every time he visits the VELTINS-Arena today. “Lots of people come up to me in the stadium and say: ‘You’re the reason I’m a Schalke fan.’ That makes me really proud!” he explained.
Lots of people come up to me in the stadium and say: ‘You’re the reason I’m a Schalke fan.’ That makes me really proud!
His enormous popularity was underlined by the fact that he achieved the highest number of votes for Schalke’s team of the century, ahead of other club legends such as Stan Libuda, Ernst Kuzorra and Olaf Thon. Fischer was an instant fan-favourite in Royal Blue, not just for his goals, or for his part in the 1972 DFB Pokal win and finishing second in the league, but for his modesty and his closeness with the fans.
Goal of the century – an overhead kick, of course
It wouldn’t be a scoreboard without the name ‘Fischer’ on it, but “as a striker you live for the types of crosses I’d receive from Erwin Kremers, Stan Libuda and later Rüdiger,” the 1976 Bundesliga top-scorer was always quick to compliment his teammates. He notched up a total of six Sportschau Goal of the Month awards, with his overhead kick against Switzerland being named as the ‘Goal of the Century.’
Fischer still has a keen eye for goal today. He regularly proves his striking abilities for the ‘Traditionself’, despite his age. However, the veteran has recently been resigned to more of a spectator role. “I’ve never been injured by a goalkeeper up until a few weeks ago. The ball came over from the left-hand side and I tried to get on the end of it but unfortunately, I didn’t see the goalkeeper coming. It was a bad collision: I tore a tendon in my shoulder and will have to wear a sling for six weeks,” he describes his painful injury with the Schalke old boys.
I’ve never been injured by a goalkeeper up until a few weeks ago.
“I don’t know if I will continue playing. I’ll try to play without any pressure. If it doesn’t feel possible, then that’s that. But that would be a shame because I still wanted to overtake Kördell’s age,” says Fischer.
He will celebrate his 70th birthday in Bavaria. “Every year we spend the holidays in our house in Zwiesel with a big group of friends and family, including Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp who used to play for Schalke and Gladbach. We always have three traditional Bavarian dishes to choose from,” Fischer explains, who has one important birthday wish: “I hope that we all stay healthy. That’s the most important thing for me. Touch wood.”