When I was asked to illustrate a famous ‘disruptor’ for Issue 4 of Soccerbible, one name immediately sprang to mind… Harald Schumaker.
I always felt the most shocking thing about Schumachers assault on Patrick Battiston in 1982, was not so much the foul itself but his detachment to the incident afterwards. Standing on the edge of his box, almost irritated by the break in play. It was matched by his ill-judged “paying for the crowns” comment made afterwards as Battiston lay in a coma, which in my opinion is up there with Ivan Dragos “if he dies, he dies” in Rocky IV
So to borrow a famous piece of commentary from Barry Davies, I wanted to “use him by not using him”. I wanted to completely remove Schumacher from the illustration, in the same way he removed himself from the scene of his crime. Instead I wanted to show the aftermath from the French perspective, with Schumachers menacing presence just out of shot.
Here’s are a few of the finer details to this piece
- The dental records have Battiston as the named patient
- His patient ID is shown as FRA-03 to denote his country and squad number
- The date of the records matches the date of the match 08 July 1982
- The ‘examiner’ is shown as H Schumacher
- Since dental records tend to use blue and red to denote restoration and damage, I thought this would complement the French Tricolour and kit
- The report lists Battiston’s three missing teeth and shows their locations
- The ‘remarks’ section shows Schumachers famous quote plus his signature beneath it too
- The ‘hospital report’ shows the other injuries Battiston sustained, namely 3 broken ribs and a cracked vertebra