Much more than 11 soccer friends

Bonn alumni play soccer together - for half a century

How do you manage not to lose track of friends from your university time long after graduation? In the case of the "University Classics", their love of soccer certainly helped, in addition to friendship. They have been playing together for fifty years and still meet at least once a year. For their anniversary, they returned to their roots at the University of Bonn - for a soccer match and a reception hosted by vice rector Professor Klaus Sandmann.

Third place at university championships in 1972

Acht Fußballspieler der Uni-Klassiker beim Spiel auf einem Fußballfeld

Founded in 1972, the team took third place in the German University Championships in its very first year. "We were all ambitious soccer players who had already gained playing experience in higher leagues," recalls Prof. Dr. Jürgen Buschmann, born in 1949, who at the time was studying sports, English studies and pedagogy for the teaching profession at the University of Bonn. "Of course we were in a good mood, and we wanted to win!"

For the next year, the goal was clear: become university champions! But the student body was deeply influenced by the 68er movement and the pursuit of performance and a participation in competitive sports was not welcome. The AstA cancelled the membership in order to use the contributions, which were quite high, for other purposes.

Travelling with soccer for international understanding

The dream of the title remained unfulfilled, but many other highlights followed in the history of the University Classics. Sponsored by the AstA in the spirit of international understanding, they traveled to Great Britain, Finland, and even Mexico in 1976. These trips and especially the game in the famous Aztec Stadium in Mexico City against the Mexican university selection bonded the team together and created lifelong memories.

After graduation, the team members went their separate ways - becoming teachers, doctors and lawyers. But they never lost sight of each other - every year they get together for the team trip. Soccer still plays a role, but it has faded into the background somewhat. In the community, they have celebrated and continue to celebrate many milestone birthdays and numerous personal and professional successes.

Back to the beginning

Prof. Sandmann and Prof. Buschmann holding a symbolic trophy

For the fiftieth anniversary, they now returned to the University of Bonn. Dr. Peter Preuß, head of university sports, had invited the university classics to kick it once again at their university. Afterwards, Prof. Dr Klaus Sandmann, vice rector for teaching and university development, welcomed the jubilarians at a reception organized by the Alumni Network: "You were and are ambassadors of sports and the University of Bonn for more than half a century. And they are a good example of how the university brings people together and connects them far beyond their time as students. On behalf of the university administration, I congratulate you very warmly on your anniversary.“

Text: Sabine Höhl
Pictures: Volker Lannert

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