Germany: Thousands Mourn Death of German Soccer Player Robert Enke
They came from all over Germany to honor their national goalkeeper who committed suicide.
45 thousand fans, friends and family of Robert Enke attended the memorial service at his team’s stadium in Hannover.
Enke, who suffered from depression, threw himself under a train earlier this week.
President of Enke’s team, Hannover 96, led the tributes.
[Martin Kind, Hannover ’96 President]:
„Robert Enke will never come back to this stadium where he conquered our hearts as a sportsman, someone who achieved a lot and as the captain of our team. Robert, you were a number one in the real sense of the word.“
Enke’s widow, Teresa couldn’t hold back the tears as the German national team mourned in front of her husband’s coffin.
32 year old Enke had suffered depression for years.
He kept it secret to protect his private life and career as a professional footballer.
His condition worsened after the death of his 2-year old daughter in 2006.
His suicide sent shockwaves across Germany.
The soccer hero seemingly had everything to live for — a promising career heading to the World Cup in South Africa next year and he’d just adopted a baby girl.
He was a popular player and fans have heavy hearts.
„At the end, when they showed on the screen the words „Now you can hold your daughter in your arms“, that was such a sad moment.“
„He’s the reason my daughter likes soccer, we watched the last two games together. He was one of the most important people.“
Teresa Enke has been praised in Germany for bravely speaking out about her husband’s depression and helping to break the taboo of mental illness.
Enke will be buried at a private funeral.