Werner Ahrens (1938-2011): A Tribute by Daniel Haering

Werner, the cornerstone of the Zuoz Fives Club Zürich, has died of cancer at the age of 72. Werner was for many years the central figure in the playing and social life of ZFCZ. Together with a handful of other enthusiastic Old Boys, he founded ZFCZ in 1963 and they built the first court in Geeren.

At first the club only had a few members but quickly built up a core group of some seven players, who not only played Fives once or twice a week, but also met up away from the court to have fun and play poker etc. Werner also frequently led trips to England to play against teams from numerous schools and to take part in tournaments such as the Kinnaird Cup the Midland or the London.

Werner was at the heart of all these activities, not just the Fives, and his preferred venue in England or Switzerland was always the pub. This special character was always the life and soul of the club and much loved by all its members for his charm and his sense of humour, with a liberal does of crankiness and stubbornness thrown in for good measure.

On court Werner was dogged and determined but always fair: Werner won the Mislin Cup in Geeren eight times altogether - the first time in 1965 and the last in 2004. Nearly forty years of playing at such a high standard are ample proof of his enthusiasm for Fives and his devotion to the game and to the club.

This in turn led to Werner being for many years the Keeper of Fives and President of ZFCZ. His unchanging good humour and sense of fairplay on court will not be forgotten.

Werner will remain in the memories of those who knew him as a model Fives player and friend. Werner took to heart the famous words of Grantland Rice:

"For when the One Great Scorer comes

To write against your name,

He marks - not that you won or lost -

But how you played the Game."

We will miss him.

A memorial will take place in honour of Werner at 6pm on Saturday 25th June in the Restaurant Geeren. In the spirit of Werner, there will be free beer but soft drinks will have to be paid for.

Click here to see a video and photographic tribute to Werner on the ZFCZ website