Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt celebrates 80th birthday
It was an absolute stroke of luck for FC Bayern when Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt answered the call from Säbener Straße in April 1977. Until then, he had been the team doctor at Bundesliga rivals Hertha Berlin. From then on, Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt looked after the Bayern players, later also the players of the German national team, and developed into one of the best and most famous sports doctors in the world. Among his patients were and are not only footballers and stars of other sports such as the 100 metres Olympic champion Usain Bolt or tennis legend Boris Becker, but also musicians such as Eric Clapton, Herbert Grönemeyer and U2 singer Bono.
Always on call for Bayern for 40 years
Today (Friday) “Mull”, as he’s known in the industry, celebrates his 80th birthday. When you look at him, it’s hard to believe. The entire FC Bayern family congratulates Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt and wishes him continued good health. “When someone like Usain Bolt says Müller-Wohlfahrt is like his second dad, there’s no topping that,” says FCB president Herbert Hainer. “For Bayern, Mull was a first dad.” CEO Oliver Kahn adds: “Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt was on call for FC Bayern 24 hours a day for 40 years and played a big part in our club’s successes. FC Bayern will always be grateful to him for that.” Board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić recalls his playing days at Bayern. “I often walked into Mull’s surgery on one leg - and jogged back out on two legs.” Müller-Wohlfahrt “became a very good friend” to honorary president Uli Hoeneß. “We’re eternally grateful to him.”
The former athlete from Leerhafe in East Frisia, who still provides daily treatment in his practice near Munich's Marienplatz, was FC Bayern's team doctor and head of the record champion’s medical department from 1977 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2020. He was also in charge of the German national team as orthopaedic surgeon from 1995 to 2018. During this time, he witnessed countless league titles, cup wins and European successes with Bayern as well as the Euro 1996 and World Cup 2014 triumphs with Germany.
The man with the 'seeing hands'
Although “Mull” no longer takes care of any team, many sportspeople still come to him. The foundation of trust is great. At 80 years old, the man with the “seeing hands”, as Hainer puts it, who can virtually see into the muscle of his patients through the feeling in his fingertips, is far from thinking about stopping or about life in retirement. “I am a driven man," he says. “As long as I can help people, retirement makes no sense to me.”
In addition, Dr Müller-Wohlfahrt, who used to almost literally fly across football pitches in his inimitable style with his long, flowing hair to treat an injured player lying on the ground as quickly as possible, passes on his knowledge from 45 years of experience as a respected author. The latest work by the country’s most renowned sports medicine physician, Exercise - The Elixir of Life for our Health, immediately made it to the top of the Spiegel bestseller list for non-fiction books upon publication. “In the recognition of muscle injuries, but also many other injuries, he is a genius,” says Hoeneß. World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger adds: “For me, Mull is a phenomenon.”