Is it unfair to describe a player as an idiot because they took inspiration from one of the biggest stars of the 1980s and 1990s? Possibly, but when you realise how it was that the man known as ‘The Hoff’ inspired Moritz Volz, you might just agree. Volz had endured a a tough time at Fulham after signing for the club in 2003, failing to get on the scoresheet for nearly three years. That, of course, isn’t all that noteworthy when you remember that he was a defender and his job was to stop goals rather than score them; which is just as well.
In fact, by the time that Volz departed Fulham, he had scored just two goals in 108 league games for the Craven Cottage side. One of them came against Aston Villa in 2006, when it emerged after the game that he had ‘Hoff’ inscribed inside custom made football boots. That was because he was a massive fan of David Hasselhoff, which is in line with many of his compatriots. Whilst ‘The Hoff’ might be somewhat of a figure of fun in the United Kingdom, he has long beloved in Germany, which is Volz’s homeland.
Getting On The Scoresheet
Born in Siegen in Germany in 1983, Moritz Voltz’s football career began at SpVg Bürbach 09 in the youth team. From there, he moved to Sportfreunde Siegen before signing with FC Schalke. He then got a move to England to work with Arsenal’s youth setup, being promoted to the senior team in 2001 but never actually making a league appearance for the Gunners. He played ten games for Wimbledon before he was signed by Fulham in 2003, where he would go on to play 125 league games and score the 15,000 goal of the Premier League era.
It was his goal against Aston Villa in October of 2006 that caught the headlines, however. The Villains went 1-0 up after 26 minutes when Liam Rosenior fouled Stiliyan Petrov and Gareth Barry slammed home the resulting penalty. Barry quickly turned from hero to….well….villain when he failed to track Volz as he broke into the Villa box and got onto the end of a Tomasz Radzinski cross. The London side then seemingly settled for a point, making themselves difficult to break down, much the frustration of Villa boss Martin O’Neill.
That, of course, might well have been a sensible decision from Fulham, given the fact that Aston Villa were the last team in England to be unbeaten at the time. In spite of the numerous different stories that could have emerged from the match, the fact that Voltz had the nickname of former Baywatch and Knightrider actor David Hasselhoff ingrained in his personalised boots was definitely the one that caught the imagination. Of course, scoring a goal after years of going without means that most people will think he could take his inspiration from wherever he wanted.