Uwe Seeler, Former West Germany captain, dies aged 85

01 Aug 2022 | 08:21 | Football

Uwe Seeler, one of the iconic figures of post-war German football and who defeated West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, has died aged 85, officials said on Thursday. “Hamburg mourns Uwe Seeler. He was the first scorer in the Bundesliga. He is now dead surrounded by his loved ones,” said a statement from the city government of Hamburg, the city where he lived. He spent his club career. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also commented on Twitter: “He is a role model for many, we will miss him,” he said.

Seeler, born in 1936, made his Hamburg debut in 1953 and made 476 appearances before retiring in 1972. He was then club president but resigned in 1998 due to a financial scandal that led to his retirement. he is not related.

Seeler played a total of 72 games for West Germany between 1954 and 1970, scoring 33 goals but never winning the World Cup. However, he was the main architect of the reconstruction of German football after World War II, accompanying the reconstruction of the country.

Finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and beaten in the quarter-finals in 1962, Seeler’s best moment was captaining West Germany to the 1966 final at Wembley, despite losing to the hosts. England 4-2 after extra time.

It remains arguably the most famous World Cup final ever as controversy still rages over whether Geoff Hurst’s goal to send England 3-2 really crossed the line.

Hurst’s shot beat goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski, hit the bottom edge of the crossbar, and bounced off before being headed by defender Wolfgang Weber.

1966 and all that

Seeler has always emphasized that goals should not be given.

“I was standing at the back of the box and saw exactly that the ball didn’t go over the line,” he said in 2016.

“We were all in a state of commotion, none of us knew what was going on.

“No one (on the West German team) could understand why the goal was given.”

However, Seeler was amicable with the decision and on the 50th anniversary of the final said it was time to bring the 1966 controversy into depth.

“I believe all the players have now digested the facts well,” he said. “Even if it’s a defining moment, sports are sometimes like that. You have to absorb it and let it go.”

At the end of the game, Seeler picked up his fallen teammates one by one and led them to the ring of honor, which remains an iconic image in football.

Sascha Theisen, author of the book “Helden” (“Heroes”) writes about the German football legend: “There are many trophies that make a player or a team legendary, but there are few gestures that make them legendary. become immortal”.

“The Germany team of 1966 was immortalized because they won that honor at Wembley, on Seeler’s initiative and despite their controversial defeat. The captain found the right gesture on right time.”

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid tribute to one of the country’s best players.

Steinmeier said in a message of condolences: “At Uwe Seeler we have lost a legend of German football and a unique personality, an honest worker on the pitch and a goal scorer. excellent”.

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“(He) gave us many forgettable matches and scored inimitable goals… For all his fame and popularity, he has always stayed true to himself. He He never forgets that you can only reach the top if you don’t walk the path alone.”

Germany’s women’s team has announced that they will play their Euro quarter-final against Austria on Thursday night wearing the black armband.

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