Dick Nanninga out of his coma
Good news this week on Dick Nanninga, the 63 year old scorer of the WC 78 final equalizer. After an operation to amputate a leg in July, he has finally awoken from his coma and is stable, the hospital announced. Nanninga was a rare breed, being an English style striker in the Eredivisie during the seventies, scoring 106 goals for Roda JC between 1974 and 1982, mainly with his head. A transfer to Ajax fell through as Dick refused to give up his blossoming flower shop near the Roda stadion Kaalheide in Kerkrade.
At 29 he made his debut in the national team with two goals in a friendly in and against Tunesia. At the World Cup in Argentina a few months later, he managed to get send off against West-Germany only seven minutes after he came on the pitch as a substitute. The reason has remained unclear until today as Dick only grinned after Rob Rensenbrink namecalled referee Barreto from Paraguay. Probably a case of mistaken identity. Nanninga was suspended for one game, returned in the final after an hour’s play and towered over the Argentinian defenders to head home the equalizer.
Nanninga also appeared on Euro 1980 and finished his international career in his birthtown Groningen, scoring the third goal against Cyprus.