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Germany's Enke Dies

German goalkeeper Robert Enke, who was in the running to start at the World Cup next summer, died today when he was struck by a train. Police believe it was a suicide. The club president described him as "unstable" recently.

"We are all shocked, we are speechless," Germany Manager Joachim Loew said.

Enke, 32, played professionally for Bundesliga club Hanover and was a longtime teammate of USA defender Steve Cherundolo. In Slovakia for the Americans' friendly Saturday, Cherundolo was told of Enke's death this evening, the USSF said. He did not want to comment at this time.

By Steve Goff  |  November 10, 2009; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Germany  
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Arrrrgh. Depression in all its forms is treatable... if you can recognize it in time. What a senseless loss.

Posted by: bselig | November 10, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

There was a suicide at the school where I coach football last January, and it was terrible to everyone, even those of us that did not know him. The ripple effect it has on everyone around them is immense and surely is shaking all those that knew him. Condolences to his family, friends, and teammates.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 10, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger had an ironically-timed article about depression in German soccer a few weeks ago:

Posted by: IamAM | November 10, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

This is really, really sad. Condolences to the Enke family, and to the Hanover 96 community.

Posted by: rademaar | November 10, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

OMG, only 32...Sad.

Posted by: zosodave | November 10, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- Given the level he was performing at on the field, it's hard to see how he could have been in a deep state of depression...but, there it is. I can only imagine how he was affected by the lose of his child. It's amazing that he was so strong on the field and so tenuous off it.

On a soccer note -- the timing of this news coincident with the news on Davies points out how far the USA has to go. The German side can surely find top-level goalies to go to South Africa. The USA, after the seeming miraculous discovery of an actual goal-scoring threat, now has to figure out how to do without him. It's not a tragedy of course -- a soccer fans' loss is not really a loss...what Enke's family feels now must be unbearable.

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It'll always be harder to find a consistent goal-scorer, for any country, than a solid GK.
That said, Enke's death is very sad.
I wonder what had been done by those close to him, since he had shown signs of being unstable.
I'm a suicide hotline counselor, and the sad thing about suicide is that most of the time, the person who took his/her own life gave some sort of signs to those around them that they were at risk of harming themselves.

Posted by: Figgy | November 10, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Depression. Treatable? Sometimes. But sometimes the antidepressants make you feel even worse and push people over the edge. But we all die in the end anyway...

Posted by: gce1356 | November 10, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

As I guess I tried to point in the last thread, some people who are very troubled and depressed may not reveal their pain in public. Especially gifted athletes, musicians, etc. The things they may excel in may be their only source of happiness, a place where they can forget what's bothering them and feel normal for a moment.

I'm no expert by any means, but having already felt like I've known my last suicide victim only to be proved wrong I couldn't help but chime in. It's tough stuff.

My thoughts are with the real victims in these tragedies, the family and friends left asking why.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 10, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@Figgy, what do you do about people who joke about killing themselves? I know it's no joke, but this last fellow I knew joked for years about offing himself, and people just thought he was just crying wolf...
I too am wondering where that point of no return is/was. I get a feeling that drugs and alcohol have a huge hand in giving people the "courage" to finally go through with it?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 10, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan, I feel your pain and I'm sorry for your loss.
Unfortunately, I have no answers.
There are cases, like your friend's, where it's difficult to know how someone could have suspected that he was serious enough to go through with it. Only the person in distress can truly know how hopeless and helpless he/she feels.

Posted by: Figgy | November 11, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

It is very sad. He was a joy to watch, and I'm not just saying that because he's gone. Always looked forward to games with him. May his family eventually find peace.

Posted by: dougenglish | November 11, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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