Gold Medalists of East Germany

The Olympic squad plus one of EAST GERMANY pose for a traditional team photograph prior to departure for Canada and the 1976 Summer Games hosted by Montreal :

back row — H. Walther (asst), G. Kische, H.J. Doerner, H.J. Riediger, B. Bransch, W. Groebner, H. Schade, G. Weber, G. Buschner (trainer)

middle row — P. Kotte, M. Hoffmann, J. Croy, H.U. Grapenthin, W. Loewe, K. Weise

front row — D. Riedel, R. Haefner, L. Kurbjuweit, R. Lauck, G. Heidler

The last, unfortunate player to be cut from the squad which went on to capture the Olympic gold medal in football was 21-year-old forward PETER KOTTE of 1975/76 Oberliga champion SG Dynamo Dresden, who ultimately earned 21 caps and scored three goals for the senior national team of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik in his career.

Gold Medal Match
vs Poland
July 31, 1976


GK — 1 – Juergen CROY ———————- (FC Sachsenring Zwickau : 86 caps)
LB – 12 – Gerd KISCHE ———————– (FC Hansa Rostock : 59 caps, 0 go)
SW — 3 – Hans Juergen DOERNER —– (SG Dynamo Dresden : 96 caps, 8 go)
CB —- 4 – Konrad WEISE ——————- (FC Carl Zeiss Jena : 78 caps, 1 go)
RB —- 5 – Lothar KURBJUWEIT ——– (FC Carl Zeiss Jena : 59 caps, 3 go)
MF – 14 – Hartmut SCHADE ————— (SG Dynamo Dresden : 28 caps, 4 go)
MF —- 8 – Reinhard HAEFNER ———– (SG Dynamo Dresden : 54 caps, 4 go)
MF —- 6 – Reinhard LAUCK —————- (FC Dynamo Berlin : 30 caps, 3 go)
FW – 11 – Martin HOFFMANN ———– (FC Magdeburg : 62 caps, 15 go)
FW —- 9 – Hans Juergen RIEDIGER — (FC Dynamo Berlin : 39 caps, 6 go)
FW – 13 – Wolfram LOEWE —————- (FC Lokomotive Leipzig : 42 caps, 12 go)

DF – 17 – Wilfrid GROEBNER ————- (FC Lokomotive Leipzig : 4 caps, 0 go)
for Loewe – 68th min
DF – 10 – Bernd BRANSCH —————— (FC Chemie Halle : 64 caps, 3 go)
for Riediger – 86th min

unused substitutes
DF —– 2 – Gerd WEBER ———————— (SG Dynamo Dresden : 33 caps, 5 go)
FW —- 7 – Gert HEIDLER ———————- (SG Dynamo Dresden : 9 caps, 2 go)
FW – 15 – Dieter RIEDEL ———————- (FC Dynamo Berlin : 4 caps, 0 go)
GK – 16 – Hans Ulrich GRAPENTHIN — (FC Carl Zeiss Jena : 21 caps)


JUERGEN CROY of FC Sachsenring Zwickau, who appeared in 23 Olympic qualification and final tournament matches throughout his distinguished career in addition to the 86 ‘full’ caps earned for the senior national team of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, enjoyed an outstanding game in the rain between the sticks at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium facing Poland in the Final of the football competition at the 1976 Summer Games.

Matching up with Poland in the Final of the football tournament at the 1976 Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in the host city of Montreal, trainer GEORG BUSCHNER made a single change to the Startelf which had toppled the Soviet Union at the semifinal stage.

HANS-JUERGEN RIEDIGER, the bright, 20-year-old prospect who had started the Olympic opener against Brazil in Toronto but had been dropped afterwards, regained his place as the central striker in the East German first team. The Dynamo Berlin attacker did come on as a second half substitute and registered the last goal in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik’s 4-0 destruction of France in the quarterfinal at the Olympic Stadium. Making room for Riediger was GERT HEIDLER, the 28-year-old forward from Oberliga champion Dynamo Dresden who had started all four of the D.D.R.’s matches at the ’76 Summer Games but had not been able to bulge the back of the net.

Heading into the Final opposite Poland, two of the 17-man East German squad had yet to make a single appearance at the ’76 Summer Games and were, for the time being, ineligible to be presented with an Olympic medal. 32-year-old defender BERND BRANSCH of FC Chemie Halle had captained the East Germany team which upended eventual tournament-winners West Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup but was now in a reserve role. 27-year-old defender WILFRID GROEBNER of FC Lokomotive Leipzig was a newcomer to the national team with rather limited experience.


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