Having been part of Germany’s triumphant 1954 World Cup squad, Toni Turek will hardly ever be forgotten by soccer enthusiasts. But it has not always been plain sailing for the legendary goalkeeper, as a new biography reveals.
“Toni Turek – ‘Fußballgott’” is a tale of a handful of baffling heights and numerous demoralising setbacks – from daunting experiences as a soldier that certainly have burned in his memory for the rest of his life to serious health issues starting at the age of just 54.
Having grown up in hardship, Turek soon fell in love with football. World War Two kept the talented young chap from pursuing a career as a keeper. Turek had been on the frontlines in Russia, France and Italy before he was finally able to break through on the pitch.
Germany’s miracle triumph in Bern is excessively reviewed football folklore, but author Werner Raupp has managed to create a new perspective by focusing on Turek’s path into Sepp Herberger’s starting eleven. “Toni Turek – ‘Fußballgott’” discloses how Turek – described by teammates as an unassuming and totally down-to-earth lad – coolly ignored the naysayers hitting out at him over poor performances in the league and on international level.
After a professional career spent mostly in Dusseldorf, Turek took an office job but also coached youth and amateur teams. Having remained modest and gentle despite his remarkable achievements between the goalposts, fans still hold him in veneration.
Toni Turek – “Fußballgott”
By Werner Raupp
Published by Arete Verlag (www.arete-verlag.de)