East Germany goalkeeper JUERGEN CROY collects a high ball with sure hands in front of a leaping Australia striker ADRIAN ALSTON, who appeared 62 times and scored 17 goals for the Socceroos before finishing his career in the United States with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the old North American Soccer League, at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg during the 1974 World Cup final tournament. (AP photo)
Because of the deciding which goal enabled East Germany’s to defeat next-door neighbors West Germany 1-0 in the historic match between the two countries at the 1974 World cup final tournament, midfielder JUERGEN SPARWASSER has a famous name and place in the footballling history of the old Deutsche Demokratische Republik.
Perhaps a less celebrated, but no less important, name is that of JUERGEN CROY — the goalkeeper who shut down the likes of the ever-dangerous Der Bomber, West Germany striker GERD MUELLER, and company to turn in a clean sheet for East Germany at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg against the eventual 1974 World Cup champions.
Despite the challenge from West Germany midfielder BERND CULLMANN of 1.FC Koeln, East Germany goalkeeper JUERGEN CROY of Sachsenring Zwickau catches a cross rather easily at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg during the one and only All-Deutschland Derby ever contested, in conjunction with the 1974 World Cup final tournament. (Werner Baum/DPA/Corbis)
Despite spending his entire career with modest hometown club BSG Sachsenring Zwickau, never one of the powers of the East German Oberliga, Croy still ended up the third-most capped player in the history for the national football team of the Deutsche Demokratishce Republik.
Croy contested 372 Oberliga games for Sachsenring Zwickau between 1965 and 1981. The tall, athletic goalkeeper with sharp reflexes and safe hands was also a member of the East German Cup winners in 1967 and 1975. In addition to domestic honors, Croy earned a bronze medal for East Germany at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games and improved upon that effort four years later with a gold medal from the Montreal Games in 1976.
Perhaps most significantly, Croy was selected East Germany’s Player of the Year three times (1972, 1976 and 1978) – a feat which would only be equaled later by Dynamo Dresden defender HANS-JUERGEN DOERNER.