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Uwe Seeler: Germany great dies aged 85

Former Germany striker Uwe Seeler, one of the greatest players in his country’s footballing history, has died aged 85.

Seeler scored 43 goals in 72 games for the then-West Germany and featured at four World Cups.

He spent his entire club career at Hamburg, from 1954 to 1972, scoring 490 goals in 580 appearances.

“We will never forget him and will always cherish him,” said Hamburg board member Jonas Boldt.

“Uwe Seeler stands for everything that characterises a good person: Down-to-earthness, loyalty, joie de vivre, plus he was always approachable. He is the epitome of HSV.”

Seeler is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and was made an honorary citizen of Hamburg in 2003.

“Hamburg mourns Uwe Seeler. He was the first top scorer in the Bundesliga. He has now died surrounded by his loved ones,” said a statement by the municipality of Hamburg.

The striker captained West Germany 40 times, including for the defeat to England in the 1966 World Cup final.

Pele recognised Seeler, who played at the same four World Cups as the Brazil legend, as one of Fifa’s 125 greatest living players in 2004.

Seeler became the first player to score at four World Cups, beating Pele to the record by only a few minutes.

He was also named footballer of the year in Germany on three occasions and came third in the 1960 Ballon d’Or award.

“A veteran of four World Cups, he played more than 70 times for his country and helped shape modern German football. Rest in peace, Uwe,” Uefa said.

European football’s governing body said Seeler would be honoured in a moment of silence before Germany face Austria in the European Women’s Championship quarter-final at Brentford Community Stadium on Thursday.

A number of Bundesliga clubs have paid tribute to the prolific striker, with Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn saying his death is a “painful loss for the entire football family”.

“When you think of German football and greatest players, you think of Uwe Seeler,” Kahn said.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, the chief executive of Borussia Dortmund, added: “Uwe Seeler was an extraordinary footballer, but above all an extraordinary person. Without a doubt, he was one of the best strikers that Germany has ever produced.”

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