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West Germany’s iconic 1966 captain Uwe Seeler has passed away

26 Jul 2022 | 08:48 | Football

Swiss defender Heinz Schneiter (R) tries to save German striker Uwe Seeler’s shot during the 1962 World Cup football match between Germany and Switzerland in Santiago. Photo: AFP File

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Uwe Seeler

Swiss defender Heinz Schneiter (R) tries to save German striker Uwe Seeler’s shot during the 1962 World Cup football match between Germany and Switzerland in Santiago. Photo: AFP File

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, who was born in 1936, made his debut for Hamburg in 1953 and made 476 appearances before retiring in 1972.

He was then club president but resigned in 1998 because of a financial scandal that did not concern him.

Seeler played a total of 72 games for West Germany between 1954 and 1970, scoring 33 goals but never won the World Cup.

However, he was the main architect of the reconstruction of German football after the Second World War, simultaneously with 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, the ball hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced off before being headed by defender Wolfgang Weber.

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