Konrad "Konny" Heidkamp

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Konrad 'Conny' Heidkamp joined FC Bayern in 1928/29. Although a native of Düsseldorf, he lived and breathed the role of Bayern captain like few before or after him. Especially in the dark days of the Nazi regime, in wartime, and in the barren post-war years, the Germany international invested prodigious energy in keeping the team and the whole club together. The powerful Rhineland native, nicknamed Grenadier because of his powerful shooting, brought strength in the tackle and precise passing to the left-back position.

The man who captained the 1932 German championship-winning team was an impeccable character and much admired away from the confines of his own club. As an example, when many clubs responded to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's appeal for "donations of used metal" in 1940 and handed over trophies and medals to be melted down for the armament industry, Bayern kept their trophies intact at the club offices in the centre of Munich. Air bombardment of the city began in late summer 1942, and the club's precious trophies were endangered.

The hidden treasure

Heidkamp's young wife Magdalena came up with the idea of hiding the collection on a farm in Ascholding near Wolfratshausen where she had spent holidays as a child. The couple packed the glittering prizes into a crate and drove to the farm in a wood gas powered vehicle, depositing the club's treasure in a room adjacent to the stables.

The crate was safe there until spring 1945, when American forces were poised to retake Bavaria. The word was that the conquering soldiers were avid collectors of 'souvenirs', including cups, pennants and badges of honour. The Heidkamps rescued Bayern's trophies a second time, burying the crate in the farmyard in Ascholding.

Hero of 1932

More than two and a half decades later, Magda Heidkamp visited the newly-opened club headquarters on Säbener Strasse. In her memoir, My Life With Conny Heidkamp, she wrote: "For the first time, I saw the trophies I had previously only known in a crate."

As a player, Conny Heidkamp's greatest triumph was winning the 1932 German championship, the first in Bayern's history. The team coached by Richard Dombi and captained by Heidkamp defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 with goals from Rohr and Krumm.

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