Germany’s number one goalie Robert Enke, who played for Hannover 96 was found dead at a level crossing in the town of Neustadt am Ruebenberge. As per police, indications are that Enke took his life by throwing himself in front of a train. Enke was 32 years of age.
Enke had missed his last four international games because of a bacterial infection and had just gotten back to the game, playing in Hannover’s fixture against Hamburg. He was married and had just adopted an 8 month daughter in May this year.
Three years ago, his daughter Lara died at the age of two during surgery to correct a serious congenital heart defect. Enke had gone through intensive counseling after her death but there are indications that he had not gotten over that great tragedy.
After Jens Lehmann retired from the game following the 2008 Euro, Enke took over and Joachim Low stated he was his number one choice to go to the 2010 World Cup.
After he could not play against Azerbaijan because of his mysterious bacterial condition, Enke told Bild.
“I’ve been through a lot: professionally and personally. I do not know if anyone can direct life. But this much I know: you can not change it. You have to accept putting up with an injury, you have to accept it when you lose a game, and you have to accept that you have a child who is seriously ill and dying. “
But it has left German football in a state of shock. DFB president Theo Zwanziger reacting to the news, “Unbelievable, unbelievable. Robert Enke was a wonderful man, who took some hard knocks in life.” There were spontaneous funerals by Hannover fans and elsewhere in Germany.
His old club, FC Barcelona observed a minute’s silence before their Copa Del Rey fixture against Leonesa.
One remembers Sebastian Diesler, Bayern’s precociously talented midfielder whose career was cut short by severe depression and injuries. A different story but depression was the common element. Maybe Enke had gotten tired of accepting. One does not know.