Herbert Zimmermann (football commentator)

For the German footballer, see Herbert Zimmermann (footballer). For other uses of "Zimmermann", see Zimmermann (disambiguation).

Herbert Zimmermann (29 November 1917 – 16 December 1966) was a popular German football commentator.

Herbert Zimmermann
Herbert Zimmermann.jpg
Born(1917-11-29)29 November 1917
Alsdorf, Germany
Died16 December 1966(1966-12-16) (aged 49)
Bassum, Germany
Occupationfootball commentator
EmployerNordwestdeutscher Rundfunk
Military career
Allegiance Nazi Germany
RankHauptman (Captain)
Unit14th Panzer Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross

He did one of the most famous pieces of commentary in German during the World Cup final in 1954 by "recommending" the goal that won "The Miracle of Bern" for Germany.

Schäfer nach innen geflankt... Kopfball... Abgewehrt. Aus dem Hintergrund müßte Rahn schießen... Rahn schießt! Tor! Tor! Tor! Tor!
Tor für Deutschland! Drei zu zwei führt Deutschland. Halten Sie mich für verrückt, halten Sie mich für übergeschnappt!
Schäfer puts in the cross... header... Cleared. Rahn should shoot from deep... Rahn shoots! Goal! Goal! Goal! Goal!
(Zimmermann fell silent for eight seconds before he spoke again)
Goal for Germany! Germany lead 3-2. Call me mad, call me crazy!"

At the end of the match, Zimmermann famously proclaimed, "It's over! Over! Over! Germany are the World Champions" - words which, as one historian has observed, are "as famous in Germany as Kenneth Wolstenholme's "They think it's all over" is in England" (the latter having been spoken in the final moments of England's victory against West Germany in the World Cup final of 1966).[1] After the final Zimermann was criticized for praising the goal keeper Turek by calling him Toni du bist ein Teufelskerl, Toni du bist ein Fußballgott (Toni you are a devil chap. Toni you are a football god.). Zimmermann who had been a major during the war, was also criticized for the somewhat militaristic vocabulary he had used during the match.

Zimmermann also commented the world championships in 1958, 1962 and 1966 over the radio. However, TV was more prominent now as most people had access to TV sets, so fewer and fewer people heard his reports.

On 11 December 1966 Zimmermann, who was known as a notoriously bad driver[citation needed], had an accident in his car and died from his injuries five days later.

Zimmermann was the uncle of the German Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele. The family holds the rights to his reports which still generates revenue.



  1. ^ Paul Legg, 'It's Over! Over! Over', History Today, July 2014 at page 41. Legg added that "It's over!" appeared "not just to refer to the outcome of the match but also to the promise of an end to the hardship and humiliation Germans had experienced" since the end of the Second World War in 1945.
  2. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 806.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.

Further readingEdit

(DE) Werner Raupp: Toni Turek – "Fußballgott". Eine Biographie, Hildesheim: Arete 2019 (ISBN 978-3-96423-008-9), p.107–112, 124–128.

External linksEdit