Uwe Seeler


Almost a year after we farewelled Gerd Müller, another of German football’s greatest strikers has been struck down. Uwe Seeler began his career with his hometown club Hamburger SV, where he quickly established himself as a star player adept at overhead kicks and scoring from tricky angles. His 137 goals scored for Hamburg in the Bundesliga remain a team record to this day, and he was thrice named German Footballer of the Year. He was likewise noted for his fealty to Hamburg, spending the entirety of his club career with the team (barring a few sponsored events).

On the international stage, Seeler was everpresent in the World Cup, representing West Germany – and the first player to score (beating Pelé by mere minutes) – in four tourneys. After 4th place in 1958 and a quarterfinal finish in 1962, he captained his squad all the way to the finals in 1966. As the jubilant celebrations of the Boys of ‘66 became immortalised in the memory, a deflated Seeler exiting the pitch was later deemed Photo of the Century by Germany’s leading sports magazine. Although Seeler got his revenge four years later in scoring a key goal against England in the quarters, West Germany then lost to Italy in the tantalising and bountiful Game of the Century semifinal. West Germany’s first Cup victory was in 1954 pre-Seeler, and their second in 1974 was two years after he retired from playing. As much as he’d have liked a Cup trophy under his belt, Seeler humbly focused on the thrill of participating in four Cups rather than dwell on the unlucky timing.

This humility combined with his career accomplishments rendered Seeler a beloved figure, particularly in Hamburg. Its denizens affectionately refer to him as “Uns Uwe” (“Our Uwe”) and beginning in 2005, a monument of Seeler’s right foot has displayed outside the Hamburger SV stadium. He was 85 and five teams sensed he was one foot in the grave, including Grief Hijackers and a couple of squads pertaining to football and Germany.

Uwe Seeler
5 November 1936 – 21 July 2022, aged 85
5 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀💀💀 6 POINTS)