Friedhelm Konietzka

Friedhelm Konietzka

Friedhelm Konietzka in 2012
Personal information
Full name Friedhelm Konietzka
Date of birth (1938-08-02)2 August 1938
Place of birth Lünen, Germany
Date of death 12 March 2012(2012-03-12) (aged 73)
Place of death Brunnen, Switzerland
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
0000–1958 VfB 08 Lünen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1965 Borussia Dortmund 163 (121)
1965–1967 TSV 1860 Munich 47 (30)
1967–1971 FC Winterthur
National team
1962–1965 West Germany 9 (3)
Teams managed
1971–1978 FC Zürich
1978–1980 BSC Young Boys
1980–1982 Grasshopper Club Zürich
1982–1983 Hessen Kassel
1983–1984 Bayer Uerdingen
1984 Borussia Dortmund
1985–1986 Grasshopper Club Zürich
1987–1988 FC Zürich
1990–1991 Bayer Uerdingen
1993–1994 FC Luzern

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Friedhelm "Timo" Konietzka (2 August 1938 – 12 March 2012) was a German football striker[1] and manager. He earned his nickname "Timo" due to a supposed resemblance to the Soviet commander Semyon Timoshenko.[2]


Konietzka was born in Lünen, Province of Westphalia, and started his football career at his hometown club VfB 08 Lünen. In his youth (for five years since the age of 14) he worked in a coal mine.[3] Max Merkel, coach of Borussia Dortmund at that time, discovered his talent when Konietzka was 20 and included him in the Dortmund squad. Together with fellow striker Jürgen Schütz, he formed the most dangerous attack of the Oberliga West. Konietzka played a total of 100 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Dortmund and TSV 1860 Munich and scored 72 goals, being the second best scorer of the league from 1964–1966 in the process. He was also capped nine times (three goals) for Germany between 1962 and 1965. Despite Konietzka's fine goalscoring record in the German league, German national team manager Sepp Herberger thought of him as too inconsistent, which could be one of the reasons Konietzka never featured regularly for the national side.[3] On 24 August 1963, Konietzka scored the first goal in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund against Werder Bremen in the first minute (at 16:59 German time, as the game had started slightly earlier than scheduled).

He won the German championship with Dortmund against 1. FC Köln in the last final before the introduction of the Bundesliga in 1963.

Konietzka earned his place in football history books when he scored the very first goal of the newly founded Bundesliga in the first minute of a match between SV Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund on 24 August 1963. His biggest successes as a player were a DFB-Pokal title with Dortmund in 1965 and championship titles with Dortmund in 1963 and TSV 1860 Munich in 1966.

His coaching career included stints with Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Uerdingen, FC Zürich, BSC Young Boys and Grasshopper Club Zürich. He won three Swiss championships with FC Zürich between 1974 and 1976 and reached the semifinal of the 1976–1977 European Cup, where his Zürich side was knocked out by Liverpool F.C.. As coach of BSC Young Boys he twice reached the final of the Swiss Cup between 1978 and 1980.

Konietzka's wife is named Claudia. He took Swiss citizenship in 1988. With help of euthanasia-organisation Exit International, he chose to end his life at the age of 73 in Brunnen, Canton of Schwyz.[4] He had been suffering from cancer prior to his death on 12 March 2012.[4]




Borussia Dortmund

TSV 1860 München

FC Zürich


  1. "Konietzka, Timo (Friedhelm)" (in German). Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  2. "Friedhelm "Timo" Konietzka" (in German). 4 February 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  3. 1 2 "Aus sieben Metern mit der Innenseite". die Welt Kompakt. 14 March 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Scorer of first Bundesliga goal dies by assisted suicide". Reuters. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
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