Enke funeral to be held on Sunday

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The Independent Football

The funeral of former Hannover and Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, who took his own life on Tuesday evening, will be held on Sunday.

The private funeral will be preceded by a public service held inside Hannover's Niedersachsen Stadion at 11am where the complete Germany national team will also be present, along with up to 49,000 mourners.

"We are preparing for the eventuality of the stadium being full," commented club president Martin Kind.

Over 35,000 people staged a peaceful march through the city last night in remembrance of the 32-year-old, whose death on Tuesday shocked the football world.

Germany's friendly match against Chile scheduled for Saturday was called off and the national team will now meet up again for the service on Sunday before preparing for their game against Ivory Coast next Wednesday.

But life may take a little longer to get back to normal for many and Hannover are considering the postponement of their Bundesliga fixture with Schalke on November 21.

"It is not yet certain, but we are considering the possibility," admitted Hannover's general manager Jorg Schmadtke who also spoke of how Enke's tragic death, which followed his battle with depression, should serve to take the stigma out of a widespread illness.

"The tragedy of Robert Enke gives us reason to consider certain things which are common in our society and are simply accepted as such," he told NDR television, who last night broadcast a special programme in remembrance of Enke.

"Robert has given us a challenge that we are now obliged to think about."