Fighting Diabetes: Ex-Pros Kick for a Good Cause

When referee legend Walter Eschweiler, cult reporter Werner Hansch,"Euro Fighter" Ingo Anderbrügge, the honorary captain of Fortuna Düsseldorf Gerd Zewe, Hockey Olympic bronze medal winner Timur Oruz and cult policeman "Toto" Torsten Heim come together on a holiday, it can only be about one thing: to join forces for a good cause. On the Day of German Unity on October 3rd, a small-field football tournament will take place at the Paul Janes Stadium in Düsseldorf starting at 2:00 pm with the traditional team of the local Fortuna Düsseldorf, the Ruhrpotthelden, the City of Düsseldorf and FC Diabetologie. FC Diabetologie is a team of physicians, diabetes counselors, and people with diabetes who make public appearances to draw attention to the widespread disease of diabetes. Seven million people in Germany are affected by diabetes, with 1,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each day. The revenues from the accompanying charity flea market organized by Fortuna Düsseldorf will benefit the diabetes prevention initiative "SMS – Be smart. Join in. Be fit.".

Fortuna Düsseldorf has a big heart: The traditional team with former national player Gerd Zewe and Fortuna legend Egon Köhnen will only play if it’s for a good cause. On October 3rd at the small-field tournament in the Paul Janes Stadium with three other teams (FC Diabetologie, Ruhrpotthelden, City of Düsseldorf) the motto is "every man for himself" to benefit the diabetes prevention initiative "SMS”. The SMS initiative is aimed at primary school children and their families and seeks to inspire pupils to eat a healthy diet and to exercise more. We see a particular need for action among people from socially disadvantaged districts," said Professor Karsten Müssig of the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf. He is not only the initiator of the project, but as a left fullback of FC Diabetologie, he is also the originator of ideas for the small field tournament in the state capital.
The team FC Diabetologie was founded in 2014 and has a prominent volunteer trainer: Christoph Daum. The Romanian national coach is unable to participate on  October 3rd, but in his thoughts he is always with the team, which consists entirely of amateurs. "I won't let anybody say anything bad about my team. It is important to remember that the players live in different places in Germany and therefore have little chance to train with each other. You can't tell from the game. I'm almost as proud of the team as I am of the Romanian national team," he said, explaining his commitment to the  FC Diabetologie team and diabetes education. "It has always been a matter of heart and soul to give people, young and old alike, the joy of exercise to protect them from preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes.“

Many prominent ex-pro soccer players  support FC Diabetologie again and again, including ex-Schalke player Ingo Anderbrügge, but who on October 3rd will line up with his own team, the  Ruhrpotthelden. He will bring along two other non-pros: the actor Thorsten Heim (“Toto”) and Martin Brambach.

Referee legend Walter Eschweiler will whistle the first match, and cult reporter Werner Hansch is expected to comment on the match live.

The patron of the tournament is Thomas Geisel, mayor of Düsseldorf, who will also be present. The tournament is kindly sponsored by the Düsseldorf enterprise Hüsson Farbe Gestaltung Bautenschutz GmbH, together with the joinery Jürgensen and Hillesheim, Elektrotechnik Beckmüller GmbH, IKK classic, and the Bäckerei & Konditerei Glomm.