A brief history of German Football by Klaus Schwarz

My Story of German Football in Singapore
Wherever Germans or British travelled in the world, football was played for sure.
I cannot find any old stories about the times before the WW I and WW II, when todays’ Goodwood Park Hotel was “ The German Club “ , but undoubtedly there existed a soccer team already. Some of my team mates think I should know about these times as being the Team Methusalem !
The story of documented Expatriate football in Singapore began with the founding of the Cosmo League, and I was told it was founded by a German.
I arrived in Singapore in 1994, and played my first friendly with the Germans against the Singapore Airlines Captains on a Changi SQ pitch, where heard from my teammates that they just had cancelled the next season participation in the Cosmo League due to a lack of players. The last two guys who are still in Singapore from that time are Christian Bischoff, who later became a loyal sponsor of our team for many years as owner of Pan Asia Logistics, and a local player called Henri Yeong. Christian provided me a picture of the team sometimes in the early eighties with the jerseys sponsored by Schenker. Unfortunately I do not know any of the players in the picture, hope some can be identified when this is published.
I was keen to form a new German Team but as we had delisted from the league, 1995 was focused on various friendly matches. We were asked by the Embassy to play a friendly against the sailors of the Gorch Fock, when they were in town. I do no longer remember the score but the drinking competition afterwards was all even.
We played local 5 a side tournaments. In Farrer Park we won the semifinal in penalty shoot outs after around 20 penalties each in sudden death only to become disqualified when the local team complained about a supposed irregularity. The price money was $ 1,000 and we wanted to win it for our top striker to fly home. His name was Sven Wagner and he was a young trainee with not much money on hand. He had played for SV Ravensburg in Germany and it was heaven to see him dance past defenders with lightning speed.
1996 / 1997 we were ready to get back into the league. I have attached a typical fax which all team captains received during the week to know the fixtures and time table. The league was organized by volunteers, that season it was the French team and you can see the two Captains were Christophe Mallard and Zainudin. Zainudin Nordin later became a Singapore Member of Parliament and the President of the Singapore Football Association. He was later involved in a scandal around the Tiong Bahru FC.
A few names of players from the two pictures ( I’m so sorry that I forgot so many names – mea culpa ) :
First 1996 : standing : Klaus Meier ( Messe Duesseldorf ), unknown, unknown, Uli Witte ( Still GmbH ), unknown, Christian Kleeberg, Klaus Geisler ( APA Inside Guides ), Kneeing : Volker Schoch ( Trumpf ), a Melchers Trainee who’s name I forgot, myself, unknown, Gregor Ellegast ( Phoenix ).
Second : Standing : Matthias Becker ( Schenker ), Marc Lucas ( Triumph ), Kai Deininger ( Compaq ), one of the Bruckner Twins, rest unknown; Kneeing : Wolfgang Reinel ( Dachser ), unknown, myself, Klaus Meier ( Messe Duesseldorf ), The Melchers Trainee, Sven Wagner .
The team shaped up with me in goal, Klaus Meier, Matthias Becker ( and later Eric Geyler ) as left and right backs, , Kai Deininger and Gregor Ellegast in central defense. Wolfgang Reinel, Harold Joss in holding midfield, the Bruckner Twins on the flanks sharing the positions with Volker Schoch and Marc Lucas and Sven Wagner as the strike force.
Unfortunately, the high fluctuation at that time made us lose the shape as fast as we got a good team together. The Bruckner Twins, who played in Germany for Pforzheim, went back after 6 months traineeship and so did Sven. The first good results with wins over SCC ( 2 : 1 ) and the Swiss ( 4 : 2 ) were soon history. Worth mentioning maybe is that game against the SCC. It was a terrible field far in the North, where a kind of drain crossed the pitch and the players needed to be careful not to step into it. It was on Saturday afternoon, 28th September. I know it so well because my wedding was scheduled for Sunday eve the 29th. The game was bad tempered. One of the Bruckner’s squeezed the private parts of a SCC player. The Ref only saw the retaliation. So SCC had to play the rest of the game a man down and we all felt their anger. During a corner I got an elbow into the ribcage. I only realized the broken rib when we wanted to go diving during the honeymoon. The team and I had a few beers to celebrate the win and my wedding to come. Wolfgang, Kai, Christian and Matthias joined my Sunday party in the Swiss Club.
The big picture is from the second part of the season. I was injured but by then we had a great second goalkeeper in Joerg Roehl ( Kuehne & Nagel ). Franko Radewald had joined who had previously played professional in the Swiss league. And a new solid defender who’s name I think it was Georg Gradl. He is standing next to me in the picture and worked for SAP. This picture was made before the return game against the Swiss when they took revenge for the previous loss. Our todays’ captain Urs Brutsch played in both games and so did Rino Binder. The Swiss then were a formidable team. Rene Weber, Thomas Schnurrenberger, Stefan Kuenzli together scored 57 goals in the season 1997 / 98 plus whatever goals Urs added to the tally. You can see the scorer list from the fax 26th May 98 when the league ended.
In 1998, we heard about a famous tournament which is played in Bangkok and decided to join. We were a bit short on players and it also didn’t really help that Klaus Meier broke his captains nose during a corner in the last game before our departure. Gregor joined as a tourist and his wife Tanja made sure he would not step on the pitch for a minute. We lost about every game despite the fact that we came with our wives and girlfriends and following the good example of the Swiss, went to bed early. This bad experience made the coaches change the approach in future ventures to the GAS Bangkok tournament but it seems whatever the approach, the success of our team in Bangkok is still jinxed.
A few pictures from the first Germans Singapore participation attached, Eric Geyler in action, the beer after the long day with Eric, Glenn Riemer, Matthias Becker, and an English friend from Singapore who had joined the team. For the ones who know the GAS tornament, this one was still played in the old school grounds, and we could use the swimming pool during the game breaks.
Another highlight in 1998 was a Soccer 5’s World Cup Tournament at Millenia Walk. They had created a 5 a side pitch in the middle of the shopping arcade and it was transmitted Live on Premiere 12 TV station. We beat teams from USA, Jugoslavia, Iran, Belgium, Argentina; and Scotland in the semi final. We lost the final against Japan. The picture of the Champions runner up :
Klaus in goal, top : Tej Kumar ( Intrafor ), Dan Muntean ( HDB ), Chris Kutching, Markus Stummbaum, Klaus Gerhards; Low : Wolfgang Reinel, Gregor Ellegast, Slobodan Boskovich ( Schenker ), unknown.
During this tournament we met a Dutch couple, she had played with the Brazilians. We asked them to join us and so the Germans were the first Cosmo Team to play a female player. Her name was Saskia and she had played for Black & White Rotterdam and the Dutch B National Team. She had a gifted left foot and with her husband we also gained a super solid defender. The picture shows us after winning the Cosmo Cup on Sentosa ( or was it runner up ? I can’t remember ). At least we won a crate of Tiger :-)
In the background the old Rasa Sentosa resort, the Capella Hotel has taken up this area now if I remember correctly. Other new players in the photo are Wolfgang Bittermann, Alain Chrun ( Credit Lyonnais ), Christian Jerger ( my Azubi at Still ). As you can see, my HR policy was very football loopsided. One of the first questions in the interviews was about it. Klaus Gerhards, Eric Geyler, Christian Jerger, Tony Waugh, for a while my company formed nearly half of the team. And my Admin Manager, Sabine Duwe, was the treasurer and basically watched every weekend game. Which brings us to Sentosa. To me, these were the best days of Cosmo football. There were 2 pitches, 2 games at 3 pm and 2 games at 5 pm. So 4 teams met for the Saturday evening at the beach bars, surrounded by sexy local beach volley ball girls, and the jugs of frozen Margarita’s flew often until midnight or until the last bus left the island.
Two pictures from the Beach Bar, with Sabine present and Eric providing the supplies.
Another funny episode of Sentosa came a few years later, when Martin Breitenbuecher, who had just arrived from Germany, thought it would be easier to use the outdoor showers naked. It created a stir close to the one of the German Team in England during the Euro Championship, when they went naked into the hotel sauna. Park Rangers were called and we had to sort out the misunderstanding.
When speaking of Sabine our treasurer at the time, I would also like to mention our sponsors. At the time, the team was very small, and we needed money for everything. A new set of jerseys, balls, the Cosmo league fees, etc. I hope I do not forget anyone, but thanks to Pan Asia Logistics, Helu Trans, Lufthansa, Daimler Benz during my days, later Brotzeit surely deserves the gold medal for loyalty.
The Team always relied on support from other Nations as we usually did not have enough players. Many Austrians played for us, Franz still does. The years early 2000 were also the years of the Belgians, Frank Ghesquiere, Koen Mestdagh, David Callaert, and Pieter. Said, our Algerian dribbler, Jihad from Dubai, Trevor Fernandez and his nearly endless contingent of local players like Jason, Wee Khim, Azmi and many more. Dan Muntean from Romania, Chris Kutching from England.
I end my part with a picture showing my successor, Marcus below on the very right, on top Martin Luest on crutches.
He can continue from here to tell the tales of German Football in Singapore, with a much bigger team today, with our Swiss friends who have joined, and with all the fantastic adventures of the GAS around Asia, be it the support for an orphanage on Batam or travelling to North Korea or Mongolia. Competing in tournaments in Manila, Phuket, Vietnam, Bali, and many more places.
The stories of Jogi must be told, who, coming from the GAS Bangkok, brought a different spirit into the team, with Liederbuch and Santa Claus parties and many more activities. I am proud that I have my own song in it based on some penalty shoot outs during the Bangkok tournament. :-)
The current Covid situation is a major set back for all our activities, but let’s hope all gets back to normal soon. Even as I do no longer play regularly, the German All Stars will always have a special place in my heart !

Katze Klaus, January 2021