A nine-year-old Patrick Bauer watched his dad die in front of him.

And now the Charlton defender dedicates his success in football to the man who instilled his love for the game.

Hans Bauer, a former player and coach for German club TSG Backnang, lost his life playing in a charity match on September 20, 2002 to raise money for families devastated by recent floods.

During the friendly, Hans suffered a heart attack with young Bauer in the crowd. 

It was a traumatic time in Bauer’s life, and the centre-half kisses a tattoo of Hans’ name on his arm before every game.

Bauer, 25, told News Shopper: “I always kiss my tattoos - they are members of my family - and also on my arm is my father’s name. 

“He died 15 years ago so before each game I get his support and just give him the feeling that I’m always thinking of him and I know that I’m getting his support in each game. It’s my superstition.

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Patrick Bauer | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

“There was lots of rain in 2002, a lot of water in the German cities and a lot of people lost their homes.  

“So a charity game was held in Backnang with a lot of German stars. It was during this match that he suffered a heart attack, and died.

“It was awful - I was so young. It’s been a long time without him.”

Bauer played in the TSG Backnang and Stuttgart youth teams before moving to Maritimo in Portugal. 

And after two seasons in the Primeira Liga, he joined Charlton in 2015. 

Bauer was relegated from the Championship in his debut season at the Valley and then couldn’t help the Addicks to an immediate promotion.

But now, Charlton are sixth in League One with two games in hand.

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Charlton boss Karl Robinson | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography

And Bauer has been an inspirational figure in Karl Robinson’s side who host Peterborough tonight. 

When asked if he would dedicate a possible promotion to his late father, Bauer said: “Yeah definitely because it [his death] was a long time ago. 

“He was taking me to every tournament, I was always training with older players and he was a really good father and coach for me. 

“Every successful moment that I have and still have I’ll dedicate to him - but also to my mother, brother - to every part of my family.”