Because of health problems: radio pioneer leaves the station early

Because of health problems
Radio pioneer leaves the station early

Sabine Töpperwien is the first woman to make it into the "Haifischbecken" football league as a reporter. For that she has to listen to unpleasant sayings from some of the big names in the league. Töpperwien goes her way against all odds. Now she is ending her long career.

Radio presenter Sabine Töpperwien, who is best known for her live soccer reports, is taking early retirement. The reason for leaving at the end of the month are health problems of the 60-year-olds, said the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR). "I am now 60 and have had chronic pain in the nerves and tendons of both arms for almost a year," explained Töpperwien. The reason is computer work, which now makes up 80 percent of daily business and can no longer be done by it. "Working at half steam – I don't want that."

Töpperwien is the first woman to report live from a football stadium. In 1989 she commented on television about the first live broadcast of a German women's national football team at the European Championship. In 1998 Töpperwien was used for the first time in a men's soccer world championship – in France. Before that, she had already established herself as a commentator in men's football, for example she commented on the two games for Schalke 04's Uefa Cup victory over Inter Milan in 1997.

Their beginnings were difficult, Töpperwien summed up. "A woman on the football reporter's Holy See – that couldn't be," they said, for example. Her brother Rolf Töpperwien, who had been a successful commentator at the time, prepared her well for the "shark tank". "Every word is put on the gold scales, he warned. Otto Rehhagel once replied that I had never smelled the sweat of a cabin before. And Christoph Daum advised me to send my brother."

But Sabine Töpperwien prevailed. She commented on more than 700 football games, almost 600 of them in the Bundesliga. She also played twelve times at the Olympic Games, reported on figure skating and table tennis – Töpperwien even made it into the second Bundesliga as a player. From 2001 she also headed the WDR radio sports department and, since 2019, the cross-media sports campus at WDR. WDR director Tom Buhrow praised Sabine Töpperwien as "a pioneer and a living legend of German sports reporting".

. (tagsToTranslate) Fußball (t) Fußball-Bundesliga (t) WDR