Heinz Ditgens was a defender on the team of Borussia Mönchengladbach. His father was one of the founding members of the club and his uncle acted as team captain. When he participated in two games in the 1936 Olympic football tournament he was a newcomer on the international scene and his club’s first ever international. He played only one more game, however, with the national team. In the late 1930s, Ditgens competed for MSV Jäger 7 Bückeburg, where he was stationed as a soldier. During World War II he lost all toes on his feet due to frostbite in the battle of Stalingrad. Nevertheless he tried to play football again with the help of specially adapted shoes. As a municipal employee he met with the British sport officers who were preparing the football field so that the sport could be played in Germany as early as late 1945. During the 1950-51 season he also coached his home team.