Bayern Munich's Tom Starke happy to be the hero against Darmstadt

Bayern Munich's veteran third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke proved the unlikely hero as the German champions stuttered to a narrow 1-0 victory over relegated Darmstadt.

With Bayern No. 1 Manuel Neuer already ruled out for the season with a foot injury, back-up keeper Sven Ulreich suffered an elbow injury in training on Friday, forcing him out for the rest of the season too.

Therefore, 36-year-old Starke was called on to make only his sixth Bundesliga appearance in five years at the club on Saturday.

Following spells at Duisburg, Paderborn and Hamburg, Starke joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2012 and has amassed 13 trophies -- despite only playing eight games in total for Bayern.

"Honestly, I wasn't expecting many appearances when I initially made Munich my home," Starke told Sky Deutschland after the victory over Darmstadt. "From the beginning, I knew I would have little match practice. I tried to stay fully involved anyway and I'm proud of my 13 trophies."

Basking in their fifth straight Bundesliga success, it all looked plain sailing for Bayern when Spain international Juan Bernat fired them ahead on 18 minutes after jinking his way through the Darmstadt defence.

However, after failing to make the most their advantage, Bayern had Starke to thank for a great fingertip save to deny Felix Platte an equaliser for the visitors on the half-hour mark.

In the second half, Starke produced a string of fine saves, including a brilliant penalty stop with just four minutes remaining from former Bayern midfielder Hamit Altintop to preserve his side's slender lead. The result condemned Darmstadt to relegation from the Bundesliga.

"At my age, the belief is always there. I've experienced everything in football," Starke said. "Of course, it's a real shame that it had to happen like this with bad injuries for both of them [Neuer and Ulreich]. But I'm pleased that I'm able to help out. I enjoyed every minute. It's always special to play at the Allianz Arena."

Following his late heroics, the veteran keeper was looking forward to playing in the final two games of the season.

"After today's performance, nobody can remove me from goal now," he joked.

The record books show Starke has collected silverware for every 55 minutes of action with Bayern -- racking up five Bundesligas titles, the Champions League, three DFB Pokals, one UEFA Super Cup, two German Super Cups and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti added on his side's performance: "The first-half display was good but we took our foot off the gas in the second. We had a lot of chances today, but we need to do better in our next games."