Fear of death in the stadium: Schalke fan complains: “I was afraid that I would die.”


After the Schalke frenzy comes the trouble with promotion!

A trailer in BILD now describes for the first time how dramatic the minutes after the final whistle in the Gelsenkirchen Arena really were last Saturday.

Fear of death – this fan accuses Schalke!

Ralf Höfs (57) was standing at the front of the north stand on the metal parapet in a denim jacket and royal blue T-shirt when, at the end of the game, thousands of joyful Knappen fans suddenly rushed behind him to storm the pitch. Only with luck he escaped a catastrophe at the end…

Höfs: “It wasn’t my first time in the north stand – but in my opinion there were just far too many people in the stands during this game. It was pure chaos! I was crushed and couldn’t breathe. I was very afraid that I would die!”

Despite calls for help and signals, Höfs was pushed forward more and more, hanging powerlessly over the breakwater. Next to him seniors and children in a similar hopeless situation. But instead of help, there was allegedly scorn from employees of the responsible security service, the Gelsenkirchen “Stölting Gruppe” (in the arena since 2020).



Schalke fan Ralf Höfs (in a denim jacket) is hanging unconscious on the parapet of the north curve. A man tries to help him and get him downPhoto: EPA

Höfs: “I screamed for help at the top of my lungs – but the Stölting employees in the orange jackets just burst out laughing. I will never forget this dramatic situation in my life!”

After that, the memory of the tram driver from Essen stopped. Höfs fainted and suffered a chest contusion, among other things. Only a (still) unknown man recognized the situation, climbed onto the shoulders of a police officer and pulled the unconscious Hofs down the wall into the stadium moat. From there, he was taken to an arena aisle for emergency medical treatment and later to the hospital.


Ralf Höfs in the hospital: In the end, the fan “only” got away with bruises and bruises

In the hospital: In the end, Höfs “only” got away with bruises and bruisesPhoto: Private

Promotion to the Bundesliga and fear of death – the fan does not want to accept that easily: “I find it outrageous that Schalke is downplaying the situation like this. They want to cleverly sweep that under the carpet.”

Höfs wants to sue the security service for failure to provide assistance and is also having his lawyer check to what extent he can also sue Schalke 04.

► When asked by BILD yesterday, the club said that they would “follow the clues intensively”, but that they still needed time to clarify all the processes. The “Stölting Group” refused to comment, referring instead to S04.


rescuers wanted!  On Facebook, Ralf Höfs tries to find the man who helped him get out of the north stand while he was unconscious

rescuers wanted! On Facebook, Ralf Höfs tries to find the man who helped him get out of the north stand while he was unconsciousPhoto: twitter

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