Borussia Dortmund in the 2. Bundesliga and more: Interview with former striker Alfons Sikora

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Interview with 1970s BVB striker Alfons Sikora

Alfons Sikora played for Borussia Dortmund in the 1970s in the 2. Bundesliga (Nord), which was then divided into two regions North and South which BVB were part of between 1971/72 and 1975/76. Sikora also played for 1 FC Mülheim between 1972/73 before moving to RW Essen in the Bundesliga in 1973-74 before finally rejoining 1 FC Mülheim for his last season as a professional.

Praised at the time by Germany’s leading football magazine Kicker Sportmagazin, the Lüdenscheid-born striker was hailed as “The new Sigi Held”, (A reference to the 41 time German international who at that time was Borussia’s lead scorer) Sikora was a talented striker who scored 14 goals in 100 matches at professional level. Sikora was 1 F.C Mülheim’s top scorer in the 2. Bundesliga in season in 1972/73. In a season in which, the now eighth Tier club (Kreisliga A)1 FC Mülheim achieved a remarkable 11th place in a league which included clubs like Bayer Leverkusen, VFL Wolfsburg, Arminia Bielefeld, Hannover 96 and Borussia Dortmund.

In this insightful interview, Sikora talks about an era of BVB about which far less has been reported, the time the club spent in the 2. Bundesliga between 1972-76. Sikora who studied engineering after his active career in football, draws parallels to the current situation of HSV, who have been struggling to gain promotion from 2. Bundesliga since their relegation at the end of season 2017/18. As well as sharing memories from his life as a player with 1 FC Mülheim, the smallest club that ever played in the 2. Bundesliga including memories of playing against legends of Bundesliga history like Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath or Uwe Seeler.

The early 1970s was an era in which Borussia Mönchengladbach dominated German football and Germany staged and won the FIFA World Cup. The early 70s was in contrast also a time of one of the greatest scandals, the football betting scandal of 1971/72. The scandal, in which football matches were fixed in illicit deals between players and clubs and referees, led to the demotion of Arminia Bielefeld and Kickers Offenbach from 1. Bundesliga as well long-term bans for, at the time, very well known players like the second-best all-time Bundesliga scorer Klaus Fischer, who scored 268 goals in 535 matches, as well as numerous club functionaries like, the president of the 1975 German Cup winners Kickers Offenbach, Horst Gregorio Canellas. The interview with Alfons Sikora took place at Sikora’s house in Germany.

(Key: BM Ben McFadyean AS Alfons Sikora)

BM Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview at your home in Lüdenscheid, it is a beautiful rural area. I can see why you enjoy living here Alfons!

AS Thank you, I read the interview you did on the website 120 minuten.de with Manni Burgsmüller, a top interview – great work and as I played with Manni I was delighted to do the interview with you.

BM Manni was amazing to interview, I spent two hours chatting with him, a real character. Although I am from London, I have been a BVB fan since the 80s and have lived through many ups and downs with this club. I had a season ticket at BVB in the 1980s and Borussia finished the season mostly around mid-table in those years, seldom higher than 7th. For fans of the modern era, which for many is categorised as the success-filled era after the 1989 DFB Pokal cup win to date, it’s hard to believe that BVB spent four years in the second tier from 1972-76. You were a player at BVB at the time, what was it like to join Dortmund as a 20 year-old join coming from a small provincial club, VFB Altena (now 8th tier)?

AS When I came to BVB at the age of 20, it was of course a big step from the then Landesliga, then 5th tier to Borussia Dortmund even though they were only in the 2. Bundesliga. I had been a centre-forward at VFB Altena and we had just secured promotion to the Landesliga in 1971 when I got the chance to transfer to Borussia Dortmund. As a lifelong fan of BVB, the contract with Borussia Dortmund was a great opportunity for me, frankly speaking, I would have even played for Borussia for free – to play for BVB and even get paid for it – a dream come true.

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