BY MARK GODFREY
The great and the good assembled on an otherwise unremarkable Sunday afternoon, the season barely over and done with; rivalries put aside for the summer. They expected to hear ‘Happy Birthday’ but got something a lot more shocking to accompany their coffee and cakes.
June 6th, 1971; the day after the final game of the eighth Bundesliga campaign and somewhere in the heart of Hessen, a 50th birthday garden party took an unexpected and sinister twist. Greengrocer and Kickers Offenbach president, Horst-Gregorio Canellas, assembled a guest list of celebrities, reporters and Fussball luminaries including the German national coach, Helmut Schön, to hear his revelations.
For the previous two months, Canellas had suspected that all wasn’t as it seemed in Germany’s top flight. His Kickers side, who had beaten 1.FC Köln to become DFB Pokal winners and been promoted to the top division just 12 months earlier, were…
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