Tuesday, November 5, 2013
5 November 1936 - Hamburg's Homegrown Hero
He spent almost his entire career with his hometown club, Hamburger SV, joining them as a youth player in 1946, then signing a professional contract in 1953. In all, he spent eighteen seasons there, the first nine in the old Oberliga top flight and the last nine in the Bundesliga, making a total of 519 league appearances and scoring a record 404 goals.
Despite his impressive scoring record, he won only two major honors with Hamburg, the 1960 league title and the 1963 German Cup, though they twice finished as runners-up in both.
While at Hamburg, he also made 72 appearances for West Germany, scoring 43 goals. He played and scored in the 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970 World Cups, and captained the team in the latter two.
Although he retired in 1972, he laced his boots up for one more appearance in 1978, playing a single match for Cork Celtic in the League of Ireland and scoring another two goals.