Overath – Work For Social Causes
Anyone who talks to Overath realises that two years in the German second division is must hurt a man who has been used to life at the top, whether in his career or in retirement. That said, there are very few people who actually know the real Overath, a man of unwavering Christian belief who will not allow his club’s current status to hurt him.
Overath is also a busy man away from football. In the 1990s, Overath and his wife Karin adopted a five-week old baby from Brazil. “We have had so much luck in life that we wanted to give just a little bit back,” he explains.
He does just that with his yearly collections for the homeless in his hometown of Siegburg. When Christmas comes around, Overath and a group of like-minded friends give gifts to the homeless — not merely gifts of a material nature, but also a gift of pride and renewed courage to face life. These are the people who need him, the people who lean on him. Overath is a freeman of Siegburg — not because of his footballing career but because of his work for social causes.
At times, Overath must privately have been surprised by his public image as a club president mocked and accused of nepotism, cluelessness and even cowardice for not talking to the press day in, day out. His argument that the managing director and the coach should be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business of the club is heard all too frequently. The response always seems to be “You are the president — you take care of Cologne!”.
And so he does just that by doing all he can. There is no question that he enjoys the role, but he does get frustrated by those who stand in judgement. Above all, however, he knows that football will be underway again soon with the 2007-08 season just around the corner. Then the battle for goals and points can commence, perhaps with promotion at the end of the tunnel. And that would maybe, just maybe, be the perfect time for Wolfgang Overath to step down.