May 9, 2021
A conversation with author Michael Wagg. In The Turning
Season, he goes in search of hidden histories and footballing
ghosts from before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He revisits the 14
clubs that made up the 1989 DDR-Oberliga, East Germany's top
flight. From Aue in the Erzgebirge mountains to Rostock on the
Baltic Sea, this quirky account of his whistle-stop tour is for
fans who know that football clubs are the beating hearts of the
places they play for.
There are portraits of the lower levels as well as the big league, stories of then and now that celebrate the characters he met pitch-side. There's Mr. Schmidt, who's found a magical fix for the scoreboard at Stahl Brandenburg; Karl Drössler, who captained Lokomotive Leipzig against Eusébio's Benfica; and the heroes of Magdeburg's European triumph, last seen dancing in white bathrobes, now pulling in to a dusty car park by the River Elbe.
The Turning Season turns its gaze on East German football's magnificent peculiarity, with 14 enchanting stories from a lost league in a country that disappeared.