Suicide shocks German soccerThe suicide death of Robert Enke left Germany stunned Wednesday, sending the soccer-obsessed country into mourning and leaving the national team without its top goalkeeper for next year’s World Cup.
HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — The suicide death of Robert Enke left Germany stunned Wednesday, sending the soccer-obsessed country into mourning and leaving the national team without its top goalkeeper for next year’s World Cup.
Enke’s widow appeared at a news conference, broadcast live throughout the country, saying her husband battled depression for years before he stepped onto the tracks and got hit by an express train Tuesday evening not far from his home.
“I tried to be there for him,” Teresa Enke said, choking back tears. “When he was acutely depressive, it was a difficult time. We thought we’d manage everything. We thought with love, we could do it. But you can’t.”
Hundreds of people filed into Marktkirche, a Lutheran church, on Wednesday evening to attend a religious service and then march silently to Hannover’s soccer stadium to honor Enke, who was the local club’s captain.
The memorial service was conducted by Bishop Margot Kaessmann, the first woman ever elected to lead the nation’s Protestants.
“The death of this athlete shows that soccer is not everything in our life,” Kaessmann said. “Behind popularity and success there could be profound loneliness and desperation.”
Kaessmann closed by saying, in English, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the title of a song adopted by Liverpool fans and supporters of other soccer teams, including German clubs.