Monday, March 21, 2011

With double-winning team, any other success could be only partial, but sometimes partial success is remembered. Sturm (Graz) reached the final for the Austrian Cup and lost it, but earned their first spot in the European Cup Winners Cup.
Sturm was founded in 1909 as working men club – in the usual opposition to the ‘bourgeois’ clubs, in this case to Grazer AK, founded in 1902 by university students. However, the club with militant name kept modest existence for many, many years, satisfied with local success in Styria (hard to believe, but tiny Austria is a federation of 9 autonomous states). On larger scale Sturm managed to win one amateur Austrian championship in the distant 1934 and absolutely nothing else. So, reaching the Cup final in 1975 was feeling good.
Top, left to right: Rumpf – assistant coach, Brandl – masseur, Rauscher (?), Gruber, Heinz Zamut, Taller (?), Heribert Weber, Trenk (?) – administrator, Manfred Ruth, Anton Pichler, Gernot Jurtin, Kurt Stendal, Dr. Hubert – team doctor, Karl Schlechta – coach.
Bottom: Manfred Wirth, Anton Ringert, Wilhelm Huberts, Walter Saria, Benkyo (?), Refic Muftic, Manfred Steiner, Heinz Russ, Hubert Kulmer.
Modest club with modest squad – a few players, like Anton Pichler, were included in the Austrian national team now and then, but without making waves. The foreigners were hardly known either – the Danish striker Kurt Stendal and the Yugoslav goalkeeper Refic Muftic. Contrary to their name, the Styrians were not to take neither Austria, not Europe by storm.