Robert Enke: Remembering worn Germany and Hannover goalkeeper, 10 years on

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Robert Enke: Remembering worn Germany and Hannover goalkeeper, 10 years on
Enke took his have existence two days after playing for Hannover in opposition to Hamburg

On 10 November 2009, the Germany squad were of their resort restaurant making ready for a dwelling pleasant match in opposition to Chile. Assistant coach Oliver Bierhoff stood up to explain them some data.

“No-one talked for 25 minutes,” remembers the worn Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker.

“No-one can also believe it, no-one can also yell a be aware, no-one can also perform the rest.”

Bierhoff had magnificent suggested the avid gamers that Robert Enke, the goalkeeper heading in the correct route to be Germany’s no 1 at the 2010 World Cup, had been hit by a prepare at a level crossing shut to his dwelling. A describe to his spouse was existing true thru which he wrote of his draw to seize his have existence.

For Mertesacker, the peril for his friend and the shock at what had came about made him seize into consideration if he can also even take care of on as a legit. He had by no manner seen Enke suffering. “I would by no manner seen him being the one who’s bought disorders.”

But Enke’s family knew about the depression that had affected him true thru his profession.

Ten years on from Enke’s loss of life, these that were closest to the goalkeeper got right here together to preserve in thoughts him at a theatre corridor in Hannover, where his widow Teresa joined in a standing ovation for ‘Robbie’.

“It was a huge tribute and basically emotional, however for me it was also very complex,” she says. “I did no longer know what I must yell.

“I felt magnificent on the opposite hand it was also very deep and also a bit a painful. Total the occasion was unparalleled and priceless.”

Robert Enke played for some of Europe’s biggest golf equipment. At Borussia Mönchengladbach and Portuguese aspect Benfica he forged a recognition that persuaded Louis van Gaal’s Barcelona to tag him in 2002. After a fancy spell with the La Liga giants, he in the waste settled at Hannover ninety six, where he was one of basically the most commanding goalkeepers in German football.

But Enke’s profession had been plagued by depression even sooner than the loss of life in 2006 of his two-year-extinct daughter Lara, who had been born with a severe coronary heart defect. He was first identified with depression in 2002, after falling out of favour at Barcelona and along with his profession stalling true thru mortgage spells in Turkey and the Spanish 2nd tier.

In Can even 2009, Robert and Teresa adopted a two-month-extinct daughter, Leila. They introduced her dwelling to their converted farm dwelling in the village of Empede, Lower Saxony, where the couple also saved nine canine and two cats that they had rescued from the streets.

They took breaks in Portugal, where Robert had enjoyed one of many happiest spells of his profession, and they owned a vacation dwelling magnificent commence air Lisbon.

His profession was firmly support heading in the correct route with Hannover, and heaps pundits in Germany were urging him to bolt away the mid-desk Bundesliga membership to extra his worldwide prospects. Bayern Munich had reportedly shown curiosity.

But in 2008 and all over again in 2009 the depression returned. Enke was receiving therapy, however was by no manner admitted to an institute for psychiatric care. He feared that to perform so would mean the discontinuance of his football profession.

In November 2009, with opportunities opening up for Enke on the worldwide stage, and with rising curiosity as soon as all over again from golf equipment across Europe, he took his have existence at the age of 32.

“He had three bouts of depression in his existence and the final one unfortunately killed him,” Teresa says.

“Before that he was a humorous, sort, humorous man. He was a unparalleled husband, a huge father.”

Enke greets the Hannover followers as he makes his blueprint from the pitch after what was his remaining match

Enke’s remaining match was a 2-2 plan between Hannover and Hamburg on eight November 2009. It was magnificent two days sooner than his loss of life.

He had spent a whereas a long way off from first-crew football earlier in the season, however now he was support. And despite the indisputable truth that it was an unremarkable performance, it felt like growth, as Robert’s agent, Jörg Neblung, remembers.

“As you would believe it was a extremely complex tell, however we had the impression that he was bettering increasingly the days sooner than,” he says.

“It was no longer the very most sensible game for him, however that wasn’t crucial, he was on the pitch for 90 minutes, he got right here support in the VIP plot after the sport, we were jubilant at that level.

“We took him dwelling, for all of us we were below the impression that he was bettering, that this was the turnaround. But one week later we knew this was no longer the reality.

“When folks judge they’ll die in the subsequent days, they’re extra commence, they might be able to scrutinize you in the eyes rapidly. We conception, ‘OK, he is getting wholesome all over again, right here is the turnaround’.

“But basically he knew that, in the upcoming days, that would be the discontinuance of the ache.”

For Teresa, too, the pictures of that remaining match are laborious to scrutinize support on.

“There is one 2nd in his final game which I get very complex,” she says.

“It looks as if he is announcing goodbye and taking a scrutinize up to heaven. For me this describe is terribly painful.”

Teresa is supported by Enke’s friend and agent Jörg Neblung (to her left) at her husband’s funeral, with Enke’s fogeys on the a long way left of the describe

On the Monday that adopted the match Robert left dwelling in the morning. He suggested his spouse he had to support a Hannover working towards session.

When he peaceable hadn’t attain support dwelling later that evening, Teresa called the aspect’s goalkeeper coach. He suggested her the avid gamers had no longer expert that day, and her husband was no longer there.

Neblung heard the solutions from Teresa, and tried to preserve tranquil on the mobile telephone.

“I acknowledged OK, let’s seize a scrutinize at his bedroom, seize a scrutinize strive to search out something, any notices, is there something written,” he says.

“She came across his letter, so then I directly called the emergency line. When I suggested them the name of the actual person, ‘Robert Enke’, there were two seconds of silence where they realised we were talking about the national crew goalkeeper of Germany.”

At 6:15pm that day, at a prepare crossing in Eilvese, no longer a long way from Enke’s dwelling, the Hannover goalkeeper was hit by the regional explicit carrier travelling between Hamburg and Bremen. His car was came across shut to the scene, unlocked, along with his pockets on the seat.

The two prepare drivers reported seeing a man on the tracks and making spend of the brakes. They were travelling at a hundred mph and can no longer dwell in time.

The following day, as followers gathered commence air Hannover’s stadium to lay flowers and light candles, Neblung called a data conference, where he suggested the football world that Enke had chosen to die by suicide.

Neblung says: “Or no longer it’s peaceable unparalleled for me that at a 2nd when he can also obtain where he wished to bolt – preserve in Hannover, bolt to a top membership, playing for Germany as no 1 at a world occasion – that at present even then the depression would attain support and hit us with unparalleled energy. Or no longer it’s complex to take care of.”

Enke’s Germany crew-mates at a memorial carrier at Hannover’s stadium on 15 November 2009

While Germany’s squad processed what had came about together, a couple of Robert’s crew-mates at Hannover were scattered across the world on worldwide responsibility and would hear the solutions by myself.

Karim Haggui had joined Hannover the old summer season. To him, Robert was the describe of the membership, and a key line of communication in his draw as a central defender. He was making ready for his Tunisia aspect’s World Cup qualifier when he took a name in his resort room from Germany.

“It was a rotten 2nd, and even extra complex attributable to I wasn’t there,” Haggui, 35, says 10 years on.

“I took the resolution on my first day away with the national crew, and now had one week a long way off from Hannover. It was laborious attributable to Robert’s name and his describe saved coming support to me. It was very complex.”

Haggui played a fats 90 minutes in his Tunisia aspect’s match magnificent three days later, where an sudden 1-zero defeat away to Mozambique imprint them a build of dwelling at the 2010 World Cup.

But it was Hannover’s return to home football per week later, an away match in the Bundesliga in opposition to Schalke, that stands out in his memory.

“We played the sport, however there was no true motivation for us,” he says.

“Must you would also have gotten something like this on your existence, along with your captain, football was the final part I wished to perform. It wasn’t crucial.

“We went on the pitch, we bought thru the 90 minutes, and then we went dwelling. We misplaced that match 2-zero, however this game I is never any longer going to ever neglect. The Schalke crew, your total followers, your total stadium, I bought a certain feeling, the sensation that every person the parents were telling you they’re with Hannover for this game, this time.”

Thousands attended the memorial carrier held sooner than Enke’s funeral

Hannover paid tribute to their goalkeeper in the dwelling match that adopted in opposition to Bayern Munich, however for Ronald Reng, a journalist who had adopted Robert’s profession, it also felt like football did no longer topic anymore.

“I wasn’t drawn to football after Robert’s loss of life,” he says.

“What I perform take into account is that, weeks afterwards, there was peaceable a describe in his handwriting on Robert’s kitchen wall reminding himself to uncover four tickets for the Bayern game for his mates.”

Reng would later thunder Enke’s story in his 2010 e book A Life Too Short. It can perhaps give away to an audience in Germany and across the world how a world goalkeeper suffered with depression true thru his total playing profession.

“It sounds like a role Robert has given me. We must invent better requirements to strive in opposition to the disease which killed him. That is his legacy,” he says.

“One thing, at the least one magnificent part, has to achieve out of his loss of life. At instances it’s laborious to chat about it repeatedly all over again, however then I describe Robert in my thoughts and he provides me the capability to bolt on.”

For Neblung, too, taking on Robert’s legacy manner seeking to change the vogue footballers methodology psychological health, and seeking to change the perception of avid gamers as sporting enormous-folks. He facets to England defender Danny Rose’s public admission about experiencing depression shall we yell of how mavens can get a formula support.

“Or no longer it’s peaceable football and we can’t change your total script of the sport,” he says. “We are able to no longer change the unsuitable headlines after we lose a extremely crucial game however we are able to be taught to support the avid gamers to address this stress.

“Or no longer it’s unparalleled that he [Danny Rose] was so robust to commence himself and to achieve support all over again, and every person must be taught, right here is the vogue it’ll bolt.

“Fetch support, procure crucial support, be robust and commence. To yourself, to your loved ones, to the officials at your membership. They’re in a space to support you.

“Must you met Robbie, you understood what extra or less a certain particular person he was. That is what every person looks to be remembering peaceable.”

Teresa has less affinity with football now than she did a decade in the past, however in developing the Robert Enke Foundation she has seen a boost in working out – in football and in society at gigantic – that has made it more uncomplicated for avid gamers to commence up about depression. If that was an choice for her husband, she thinks it might maybe most likely have saved him.

“I specialize in he would have had a gigantic gamble to dwell on if he had taken that step. But it was a certain time, it was 10 years in the past, and I will sign that he did no longer have the boldness to perform that,” she says.

“It has to be allowed by the coaches and avid gamers in the dressing room to existing your emotions, and to advise ‘I’m no longer feeling magnificent’ without directly having to misfortune about your dwelling in the crew.

“Or no longer it’s an unparalleled sport. Or no longer it’s laborious to change, and is never any longer going to ever change, attributable to there is just too powerful money, too powerful emotion and too powerful build onto the sport. Or no longer it’s like this attributable to oldsters need sport like this.”

She prefers to preserve in thoughts Enke on her husband’s birthday in August reasonably than the day he died. However the ten-year anniversary of his loss of life was also a time for her and Leila to scrutinize support.

“Our family and mates are coming together and we can believe Robbie. We are able to explain advantageous tales about him.

“But we can all scrutinize to the long run and describe Robbie’s smile.”

Must you or any individual has been plagued by a psychological health thunder of affairs, support and wait on is obtainable at bbc.co.uk/actionline