In April 1992, Nuremberg’s 18-year-old striker Christian Wück made a crystal-clear swallow in the game against leaders Borussia Dortmund. To this day, Wück is insulted by BVB fans. The current coach of the German U17 national team remembers.
“Wück, you sow!” To a large number of Borussia Dortmund supporters, these three words of insult are enough to remind them of a bitter episode in their existence as a fan. And to piss them off. Still today. Almost 31 years after April 3, 1992.
“The fact that the Dortmund fans have not forgiven me to this day is much more serious,” says Christian Wück, the culprit, in an interview with SPOX and GOALS. “If I meet a fan in Dortmund, I’m asked about it. It can also happen that I’m insulted because of it. But at some point there has to be a generational change.”
Wück was then an 18-year-old striker in the service of 1. FC Nürnberg. Two years earlier he made his Bundesliga debut as the third youngest player in history (17 years and 133 days). In the 1991/92 season he was a full squad member at the club for the first time – and a feared joker. Wück was substituted on in 26 of 32 games, scoring seven goals. Dortmund’s Paco Alcácer only broke this record 26 years later.
On that Friday evening of the 31st match day, BVB came to the Frankenstadion as table leaders. Borussia hadn’t lost in 19 games and scored 30:8 points. The series began in October 1991 – against Nuremberg.
BVB: Christian Wück’s swallow in Dortmund unforgotten
29 years ago was the last championship of the Westphalia. With a victory in the upper midfield placed Franconia, they wanted to come a step closer to the dream. But in the 11th minute of the game, the scene that has not been forgotten in Dortmund happened.
“It was a running duel with Günter Kutowski. He then straddled and I felt something on my leg,” remembers Wück – and then admits what he didn’t admit at the time: “When I was sixteen, it was probably up there Headed in and then I was down. I shouldn’t have fallen, but there was definitely contact – just outside the box and not in a way that didn’t prevent me from running. You shouldn’t have called the whistle.”
This was also proven by the slow motion, which clearly unmasked Wück’s swallow. Referee Hans-Jürgen Kasper saw things differently and pointed to the point. Argentina’s “magic mouse” Sergio Zárate converted the penalty. In the 28th minute, Wück, who played his first Bundesliga game from the start that day, made it 2-0.
BVB beside himself: “An absolute king of swallows, this Wück”
BVB striker Stéphane Chapuisat shortened the lead just six minutes later, but Dortmund was off the roll. Even the clear increase in performance in the second half didn’t help – three games before the end of the season, BVB slipped down to third place with the same number of points as Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
“An absolute king of swallows, this Wück. I’ll go crazy if this left thing costs us the championship,” raged the defender Kutowski. Captain Michael Zorc said: “Losing is bitter. But it’s even more bitter with a swallow. It was psychologically so important to be top of the table.”
Wück, on the other hand, from table football received the grade 2 and with a short text – in which the swallow was not mentioned at all – was named man of the match day, said after the game succinctly: “I could have continued running. Suddenly I was lying there. I’m not the one who decides Championship, but the clubs themselves.”
Christian Wück received death threats from BVB fans
Referee Kasper was also not aware of any guilt. Despite the unequivocal television images, he protested that he had made no mistake. However, he admitted: “Admittedly, Wück dropped theatrically.”
“Of course, my TV interview right after the game didn’t go as well as it should,” says Wück today. “The outcry was immense – especially for an 18-year-old who was not protected by the media.” He received death threats in the mail the week after the game. “That’s when I first realized how serious such things can be. It bothered me a lot, but it wasn’t talked about much in the past.”
When he went to club trainer Willi Entenmann with one of the scary letters, “he read it through, tore it up in front of my eyes and said I shouldn’t worry.” Wück was somewhat distracted by the fact that a few days later he was called up for the German U21 national team for the first time. It was his first contact with the DFB, for which he has been working since 2012, currently as a coach of the U17s.
BVB fans are still angry today: “Wück, you sow!”
Since then, the 49-year-old, who later in his career had a dead man’s meniscus transplanted into his left knee, has been in Dortmund with the expression “Wück, you sow!” proven. Even a match report from the BVB fanzine schwatzgelb.de from 2008 dealt with the topic extensively when Wück returned to Dortmund as coach of Rot Weiss Ahlen for a game against Borussia’s second team.
“I’m really surprised that it’s still an issue in Dortmund. I once met the long-time BVB president Reinhard Rauball at an amateur game,” says Wück. “I shook his hand to greet him and he said: It was you back then! When I replied that it was more than 20 years ago, he said with a smile: A black and yellow guy doesn’t forget!”
In the end, Dortmund didn’t actually win the long-awaited title. After a dramatic final day of the season, BVB, coached by Ottmar Hitzfeld, were a few goals short of VfB – or just a point. “I don’t think Dortmund just lost the championship because of this game,” says Wück.
BVB benefited from a swallow three years later
If it were possible, he would undo his swallow, he asserts: “If I had known what would be involved, I would of course not have done it. All in all, this experience was very instructive for me and definitely has my further course of action in many ways affected.”
Almost exactly three years later, the fate of Dortmund turned in the other direction, which Wück recalls with a smile: “There were also enough examples – especially in the ranks of BVB – where Bundesliga games were decided in this way.” He is alluding to Andreas Möller’s famous “Schutzschwalbe” on the 26th day of the 1994/95 season against Wück’s later club Karlsruher SC, which secured eminently important points for BVB in the fight for the championship, which they ultimately won.
The only question that remains is: Which swallow was the better, Mr. Wück? He laughs on the phone and says: “You can answer that yourself when you look at the pictures!”
Christian Wück: An overview of his professional career