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Memorable Monday: The Goalscorer Before Gerd Müller

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Today, we take a look at the career of the Bomber before Gerd, Rainer Ohlhauser.

Ohlhauser on the left as HSV's assistant coach
Ohlhauser on the left as HSV's assistant coach
Bongarts/Getty Images

Ohlhauser scored 208 goals for Bayern in 331 games. Looking at where Bayern Munich stand today, both those numbers are envious. Strikers do not tend to last long at Bayern. Even the legends and the best of the best struggle to break the century mark; very few manage to play 331 games for the Bavarians. Ohlhauser was special though. Everyone around him knew it, even when he was just 16.

Ohlhauser could perhaps be a famous sprinter with an Olympic gold medal around his neck, but he chose to play football instead. Football was not what it is today back in 1958 when Ohlhauser started playing for SV Sandhausen in the Amateurliga. He stayed there till 1961, when he was becoming too big for the club. A whopping 29 goals in a title winning season with Sandhausen (Sandhausen won the North Baden Cup) attracted some of the big boys. TSV 1860 München Amateurs were among the sides looking for his signature. Yet another star decided to opt to accept the offer from Bayern instead. In 1961, he started playing for FC Bayern München.

In 1961, Ohlhauser packed his bags and moved to his new home.  Football did not pay all the bills; thus, Bayern's focal point on the field had to work as a steel fitter off it. A day after Bayern beat Tennis Borussia, 8-0, Ohlhauser was found working at his regular job. Training sessions took place in the evenings. Ohlhauser used to travel with the fans on the tram to home games.

In his first season, the striker scored 23 goals in 26 games, living up to his billing. He went one better next season, hitting 24. After their move to the Regionalliga Süd in 1963, Ohlhauser scored 75 goals over two seasons.  However, despite doing so well in the Regionalliga Süd, Bayern were not involved in the Bundesliga until 1965. When they were involved eventually, a new hero emerged in Gerd Müller and Ohlhauser, while still a potent striker and a faithful servant, was somewhat pushed to the background. This does not mean he did not score anymore though. He reached double figures every season at least, with his highest tally in the Bundesliga coming in 1967-68 when he scored 19 times.

In 1970, he head to Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland. From 1976 to 1980, he acted as a player-coach for  Emmenbruecke FC and VfB Friedrichshafen. Later, he attempted to coach in the Bundesliga as an assistant in HSV and BVB. However, he could not reach the heights he did as a player.

Ohlhauser remains a good sport today and if you ask him if he begrudges Gerd Müller, he will tell you Müller deserves the applause and he was a different player than Ohlhauser.  While Ohlhauser's name is rarely mentioned with the Bayern greats, his should be up there, considering how important his efforts were to get Bayern to the Bundesliga in the first place, and then, to help them become successful along the way.

Stories and Statistics courtesy of 11 FreundePlayer History, and Wikiwaldhof