Think of Gerd
Tue, 12/09/23, 19:58
Hoeneß: A great player and incredible person
As the curtain fell, a murmur went through the crowd that had gathered on the esplanade in front of the Allianz Arena – followed by great applause. Hands raised in the air, in his typical celebration pose, the larger than life-sized, 4.20-metre-high figure of Gerd Müller could now be seen in all its glory. From now on, it will stand in front of the home stadium of the German record champions as a reminder of one of the greatest in its history. Uli Hoeneß summed up what he meant to FC Bayern in one sentence: "Without Gerd, this club would be nothing," said the long-time companion of the exceptional goalscorer, who died in August 2021 at the age of 75.
In his opening speech, Hoeneß described in moving words and with many anecdotes that the goalscorer was unique not only because of his sporting achievements, but also in particular because of his character trait. Müller was "the best number nine there has probably ever been in the world", he was a "great player, but also an incredible person". To witness the unveiling of his memorial, almost 220 invited guests, including Uschi Müller, the FC Bayern board led by president Herbert Hainer and CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen, as well as many former teammates such as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, came to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
Here are the photos from the unveiling of the memorial:
At FC Bayern, "we must not forget what was and what is. The 'Mia san mia' is evident once again today in that so many people have come to pay their respects to Gerd Müller," Hoeneß continued. Müller collected numerous titles and records in his career. His name is closely associated with FCB's rise from second-class status to a top European club, yet he always remained down-to-earth and loyal. "Gerd was always the same, I very rarely saw him in a bad mood," Hoeneß described. Even after his career ended, Müller remained closely associated with Bayern as a youth coach.
After the ceremonial unveiling on the esplanade, the guests present gathered for a reception inside the Arena. Herbert Hainer, Karel Fron, the creator of the sculpture, and Simon Müller from the Kurt Landauer Foundation, which organised the financing of the memorial through donations from FC Bayern fans and fan clubs, spoke about the legacy of the club icon. Hainer expressed his gratitude to the Kurt Landauer Foundation on behalf of the entire club: "This kind of interaction between club and fans is what makes FC Bayern and the FCB family." From now on, the statue of Gerd Müller will be "the ultimate photo subject every Saturday," said the FC Bayern president, who still remembers Müller's decisive goal in Germany's 1974 World Cup triumph. "He was one of the best footballers we have ever had in Germany and an incredibly decent, down-to-earth and likeable person."
Gerd Müller represents the great history of the club with the largest number of members in the world today – and thus also shapes the future of the German record champions. He and his teammates were "the founding fathers of success at FC Bayern", which later generations could build on. "It's obligatory for all of us to uphold this legacy and pass it on to the next generation," explained the club president. Müller's memory was also upheld in many conversations during the rest of the evening. From now on, the statue will call out the motto "Think of Gerd" to visitors at home games in the Allianz Arena, firmly anchoring the legendary striker in the collective memory of the Bayern family.
More on the Gerd Müller statue: