Former referee Markus Merk, who was born in Kaiserslautern, finds it difficult to understand that the 54-year-old world champion Horst Eckel should not be given a grave of honor. “It’s unbelievable for me, no matter what the reasons are,” said the 59-year-old of the “German Press Agency”.
To the great disappointment of his family, football legend Horst Eckel is not to be given a grave of honor in his home town of Vogelbach in the Palatinate. The municipality of Bruchmühlbach-Miesau justifies this with money worries. Eckel, who used to play for 1. FC Kaiserslautern, died on December 3 last year at the age of 89 as the last world champion of the team from 1954, which had achieved a historic success with the “Miracle of Bern”.
The former 1. FC Kaiserslautern player was buried a few days later in the Bruchmühlbach-Miesauer district of Vogelbach in the Kaiserslautern district. Eckel would have turned 90 next Tuesday (February 8). At the age of 22, the outside runner Eckel was the youngest in the team of the legendary coach Sepp Herberger in the 3-2 final victory over Hungary.
Merk, who gave a long speech at Eckel’s funeral service, stressed that he was aware of the region’s structural weaknesses. “But he would have deserved one last badge of honor as a person and as an athlete. Every community in football Germany would have been happy to have had a Horst Eckel,” said Merk, who resigned from his positions as a member of the supervisory board of 1. FC Kaiserslautern eV at the end of December and resigned as Chairman of the Advisory Board of 1. FC Kaiserslautern Management GmbH.