BERLIN, Nov 8 ― Hans Schaefer, the last-but one surviving member of the West German team which won the 1954 World Cup, died yesterday, his ex-club Cologne said.
The 90-year-old played on the left wing in the final as the Germans fell two goals behind after just eight minutes but fought back to beat Hungary, 3-2, in “the Miracle of Berne”.
Schaefer’s death means midfielder Horst Eckel, 85, is the last surviving member of that team.
Germany’s current coach Joachim Loew, who is preparing for Friday’s friendly against England in Wembley, mourned the loss.
“The news that Hans Schaefer has died makes us all very sad here in the national team. As one of the heroes of Berne, he will never be forgotten,” Loew said.
In the 1954 final, Zoltan Czibor and Ferenc Puskas, one of football’s greatest players, netted goals for Hungary after six and eight minutes.
Midfielder Max Morlock pulled a goal back for the Germans in the tenth minute. Right winger Helmut Rahn then wrote himself into German football folklore, equalising before half time and scoring the winner six minutes from time.
“I am very sad and will always remember Hans Schaefer as a great Cologne player and person. #RIP,” former Cologne, Arsenal and Germany striker Lukas Podolski wrote on Twitter.
Schaefer played for Cologne from 1948 to 1965, winning the German title in 1962 and 1964. ― AFP