Hans Tilkowski

Hans Tilkowski (12 July 1935 – 5 January 2020) was a German footballer who played as a goalkeeper.[2] He played for West Germany, and was a member of the team that lost the 1966 World Cup final to England.

Hans Tilkowski
Hans Tilkowski.jpg
Tilkowski in 2005
Personal information
Date of birth (1935-07-12)12 July 1935
Place of birth Husen, Dortmund, Germany
Date of death 5 January 2020(2020-01-05) (aged 84)
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1962 Westfalia Herne 219 (0)
1963–1967 Borussia Dortmund 81 (0)
1967–1970 Eintracht Frankfurt 40 (0)
Total 340 (0)
National team
1957–1967 West Germany 39 (0)
Teams managed
1970 Werder Bremen
1970–1972 1860 Munich
1973–1976 1. FC Nürnberg
1976–1977 Werder Bremen
1978 1. FC Saarbrücken
1981 AEK Athens
Men's football
Representing  West Germany
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up 1966 England
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Born 1935 in Husen, Dortmund, Tilkowski started football at age 11 with SV Husen 19, originally as a right winger. He switched to the goalkeeper position and joined SuS Kaiserau in 1949. He started his professional career with the team in 1952, then joined Westfalia Herne in 1955.[3] With Herne, he won the Oberliga West in 1959. His next team was Borussia Dortmund. From 1963 to 1967 he played 81 times in the West German Bundesliga for Dortmund.[4] Tilkowski won the DFB-Pokal with Dortmund in 1965[3] and the 1965–66 European Cup Winners' Cup.[4] He was chosen German Footballer of the Year in 1965.[3] Tilkowski was regarded as one of the world's best goalkeepers during the mid-1960s.[5]

Tilkowski debuted for the West German national team in 1957.[3] He was expected to be the first-choice keeper for the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile, but was demoted by coach Sepp Herberger the day before the opening match. Tilkowski destroyed his hotel room in anger and did not play for the national team for two years, but was eventually called up again. Under Herberger's successor Helmut Schön, Tilkowski was the first-choice in goal for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.[6] The team would lose the final 4–2 to the hosts.[7] The final was remembered as English forward Geoff Hurst scored his controversial second goal en route to a hat-trick. In the 101st minute, 11 minutes into the extra time, Hurst's shot hit the crossbar, the ball then bounced on the ground before being cleared by defender Wolfgang Weber. The goal was given by referee Gottfried Dienst after consultation with linesman Tofiq Bahramov, giving England a 3–2 lead. Photographic evidence would later show that the ball did not cross the line.[4] Unlike most of his team-mates, Tilkowski never resigned himself to the decision, pointing out whenever he could that it was flawed – though with a sense of humour. In 2009 he agreed to unveil a statue in Azerbaijan of Tofiq Bahramov, the linesman who had indicated that the goal should stand.[8] He played for West Germany another year, before being superseded in the national team by Sepp Maier.[6]

Tilkowski ended his playing career with Eintracht Frankfurt.[9]

He later took up coaching, taking charge of 1. FC Nürnberg, Werder Bremen and AEK Athens, among other clubs.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

One of three children,[10] Tilkowski was born in Dortmund on 12 July 1935. His father, a miner, was descended from the many workers who had left Poland to seek work in the industries of the Ruhr.[11]

Tilkowski grew up in straitened circumstances. He enjoyed boxing as a boy, and he initially played football as a winger before finding his calling when his team lacked a goalkeeper. He became an apprentice locksmith, then joined Westfalia Herne in 1955.[12]

In June 1959, he married Luise; they had two sons and one daughter.[13]

Tilkowski died on 5 January 2020 at age 84 after a long illness.[14]



Borussia Dortmund


West Germany



  1. ^ "Hans Tilkowski". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Hans Tilkowski" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Torwart Hans Tilkowski ist tot". Die Zeit (in German). 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Hans Tilkowski ist gestorben". Tagesschau (in German). 6 January 2020. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  5. ^ "1966er-Endspieltorwart Tilkowski gestorben". FIFA.com (in German). 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Nachruf auf Hans Tilkowski: Und er war nicht drin". Der Spiegel (in German). 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  7. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (3 October 2004). "Hans Tilkowski - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Obituary". Daily Telegraph. 13 January 2020.
  9. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (2 May 2013). "Hans Tilkowski - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  10. ^ Schnittker, Gregor (26 November 2011). "Derby 1950: Die Regale wackeln". 11freunde.de (in German). Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  11. ^ Blecking, Diethelm (4 January 2019). "Die Nummer 10 mit Migrationshintergrund. Fußball und Zuwanderung im Ruhrgebiet". Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Obituary". Daily Telegraph. 13 January 2020.
  13. ^ Tilkowski, Hans. Und ewig fällt das Wembley-Tor (in German). p. 203.
  14. ^ "Wembley goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski is dead". Time24 (in German). 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Fußballer des Jahres seit 1960: Die Siegerliste". kicker.de (in German). Retrieved 7 January 2020.

External linksEdit