Leipzig’s not only the setting for a soda producer’s plan of world conquest, it’s also home of the country’s most noteworthy football statue. Or eleven noteworthy statues, to be precise.
Summer of 1963. Despite being GDR’s 2nd city and having two teams in the top flight, Leipzig hardly noted any success as far as football is concerned. Therefore mass sports organization DTSB decided to unify the two sides to a central Leipzig’s sports club – Lokomotive and Rotation turned into SC Leipzig.
The newly formed club’s first team was compound from the supposedly best players of its two forerunners. The remaining players, who could not put themselves forward for Leipzig’s new footballing flagship, were transferred to BSG Chemie Leipzig.
Chemie were given the vacant Oberliga place and during the run-up to the season the team gained the nickname “Rest von Leipzig” – “Rest of Leipzig”. Legendary manager Alfred Kunze shaped a committed gang, solid in defence and good on the break. The team sensationally won the league eventually, probably the biggest upset in the history of the GDR Oberliga.
The championship team of Klaus Günther, Dieter Sommer, Manfred Walter, Bernd Bauchspieß, Heinz Herrmann, Horst Slaby, Wolfgang Behla, Lothar Pacholski, Dieter Scherbarth, Bernd Herzog, Wolfgang Krause, Klaus Lisiewicz and Hans-Georg Sannert was life-sizedly poured in concrete a few years later:
|The Rest of Leipzig comic style statues|
Over the years Chemie Leipzig became an “elevator side” and were not left untouched by German reunification. The club changed its name to FC Sachsen Leipzig and in 1992, their ground, former Georg-Schwarz-Sportpark, was renamed to Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark.
In March 2009, the club had to declare insolvency for a second time in its history and finally folded on 30 June 2011. As today, SG Leipzig-Leutzsch and BSG Chemie Leipzig both consider themselves as legal successors of the dissolved FC Sachsen. Both clubs face each other in the “Sachsenliga” on level six of the league system.
Confusing stuff, I know. But in all these trials and tribulations, however one constant remains – the “Rest of Leipzig” right next to the main stand of Kunze-Sportpark:
|Main stand with the Rest of Leipzig on its right|