Uwe Seeler, one of many iconic figures of post-war German soccer and who skippered West Germany within the 1966 World Cup last, has died on the age of 85, officers stated Thursday. “Hamburg mourns Uwe Seeler. He was the primary high scorer within the Bundesliga. He has now died surrounded by his family members,” stated a press release by the municipality of Hamburg, town the place he spent his membership profession. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz additionally commented on Twitter: “He was a job mannequin for a lot of, we’ll miss him,” he stated.
Seeler, who was born in 1936, made his debut for Hamburg in 1953 and went on to make 476 appearances earlier than his retirement in 1972. He was later membership president however resigned in 1998 due to a monetary scandal during which he was not implicated.
Seeler performed a complete of 72 matches for West Germany between 1954 to 1970, scoring 33 objectives however by no means received a World Cup. He was, nonetheless, the main architect of the reconstruction of German soccer after the Second World Conflict, which went hand in hand with the reconstruction of the nation.
Fourth within the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, and crushed within the quarter-finals in 1962, Seeler’s most interesting second was captaining the West Germany staff that reached the 1966 last at Wembley, albeit shedding 4-2 to hosts England after extra-time.
It stays arguably probably the most well-known World Cup last ever due to the controversy which nonetheless rumbles on over whether or not Geoff Hurst’s purpose to place England 3-2 up truly crossed the road.
Hurst’s shot beat goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski, the ball hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced on the road earlier than being headed away by defender Wolfgang Weber.
1966 and all that
Seeler all the time insisted that the purpose shouldn’t have been awarded.
“I used to be standing behind the field and noticed precisely that the ball did not cross the road,” he stated in 2016.
“We have been all in a state of commotion, none of us knew what was occurring.
“Nobody (within the West Germany staff) might perceive why the purpose was given.”
Seeler, nonetheless, made peace with the choice and on the fiftieth anniversary of the ultimate stated it was time to place the 1966 controversy to mattress.
“I imagine all of the gamers have now nicely digested the occasions,” he stated. “Even when it was a defining second, sport is typically like that. You must soak up it and put it away.”
On the finish of the match, Seeler picked up his collapsed teammates one after the other and led them on a lap of honour which stays an iconic picture in soccer.
“There are lots of titles that make a participant or a staff legends however there are few gestures that make them immortal,” wrote Sascha Theisen, the creator of the ebook “Helden” (“Heroes”) on German soccer legends.
“The German staff of 1966 grew to become immortal as a result of they took that lap of honour at Wembley, on Seeler’s initiative and regardless of their controversial defeat. The captain discovered the correct gesture on the proper time.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid tribute to one of many nation’s most interesting gamers.
“In Uwe Seeler, we now have misplaced a legend of German soccer and a novel down-to-earth character, an sincere employee on the pitch and an excellent purpose scorer,” stated Steinmeier in a message of condolence.
“(He) gave us many unforgettable video games and scored inimitable objectives… For all his fame and recognition, he all the time remained true to himself. He by no means forgot that you may solely get to the highest when you do not stroll the trail alone.”
Germany’s ladies’s staff has introduced that it’s going to play its Euro quarter-final towards Austria on Thursday night sporting black armbands.
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