The Australian football community mourns the passing of football great Manfred Schaefer, who died at the age of 80.
Who Was Manfred Schaefer?
Schaeffer, who moved to Australia from East Germany at the age of 10, was part of the football team in World Cup that happened in the year 1974. He took a job as a milkman to participate in the tournament in what was then West Germany. A former defender, between the years 1967 and the year 1974 he played 73 caps for Australia, 49 of which he played for the senior national team.
Moreover, in the year 1999, he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. He also quickly befriended Brazilian great Pele after tagging the legendary striker when his iconic club Santos toured Australia in the year 1972. Pele was quoted as saying that he knew his name, and called him a “bastard.” The nickname stuck, and Pele greeted him with the same nickname at the 1974 World Cup, and the two remained good friends until Pele’s died took place in the last year.
How Manfred Schaefer Passed Away?
The 1974 legend, Manfred Schaefer, has undoubtedly contributed greatly to the team’s success and cohesion. He died at the age of 80 at his home of many years in Cabramatta after a battle with a protracted illness.
FA President Chris Nikow described Schaefer as a giant of Australian football, having played club football for Blacktown and St George Budapest. Although not born in Australia, Manfred gave his all for Australia and represented his country to the maximum extent on and off the pitch.
Even after Manfred retired as a player, his technical prowess and strong management skills have influenced the careers of top players in many countries for around 30 years. Manfred loved his Australian football at every level and regularly supported the sport at grassroots level, the NPL, his Australian Cup or his national team.What did His Fans say?
Fans are saddened by the news of passing away. A fan wrote that he was sad to hear of the passing of former footballer Manfred Schaeffer and that his heart goes out to his daughter Kim Schaeffer, his family, and friends. He added that Manfred represented the country and the club with pride. Another fan stated that Manfred Schaefer’s passing away will grieve the many who had the privilege of knowing or watching him play and that he was one of the heroes of 1974, a true football legend.
Another fan said that they were completely disappointed as Manfred Schaefer was his first sporting hero and his first football legend. He also mentioned that Manfred’s passing is sad news, but he was an icon, so let’s celebrate his achievements.
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