Gerd Müller at 70
Gerd Müller, widely known as "Der Bomber", turns 70 on 3 November. The former FC Bayern centre-forward scored a total of 533 goals in 585 appearances for the club between 1964 and 1979. He won the World Cup and European Championship with Germany and rates as one of the greatest players of all time. He was also named European Footballer of the Year and, thanks to a total of 13 trophies in Bayern colours, is one of the club's legends.
Unfortunately, Müller has been seriously ill for some time with Alzheimer's disease. The media and general public have respected Gerd Müller's privacy in this difficult situation. With the strong support of his family, Müller has been receiving professional treatment since February 2015. His wife Uschi has asked for understanding that there will be no official appointments or visits for his 70th birthday.
FC Bayern München chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge commented: "Gerd Müller is one of the greats of the global game. Without his goals FC Bayern and German football would not be what they are today. Gerd was the kind of striker there probably won't be again. Despite all his success he always remained modest and reserved, which particularly impresses me. He was a wonderful team-mate and is a personal friend. Gerd will always have a place in the Bayern family. After he finished playing, he contributed his experience as a youth coach and helped nurture the likes of our world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller. We're grateful to him for this too."
In the light of Müller's condition and his forthcoming 70th birthday, Rummenigge said: "In this far from easy situation for him and his family, we appeal for respect. Values such as friendship and fair play were and are important to Gerd. He has deserved all of us to approach his illness considerately and respect his privacy and that of his family. This is not only the express wish of his family but also of FC Bayern. FC Bayern will always support Gerd Müller and his family and help him whenever necessary."
Müller's physician Prof Dr Hans Förstl commented on the Alzheimer's disease suffered by the footballing idol: "Thanks to the magnificent support of his wife and the exemplary loyalty of FC Bayern München, Gerd Müller has been perfectly and successfully integrated into the life of the club over many years. Despite the unmistakeable signs of his illness he has been treated with sympathy and great respect by the Bayern family, the fans and the media. That was very important, because all we can wish for a person after the onset of Alzheimer's disease is that he can remain for as long as possible in a familiar environment where he feels at his best."