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Uwe Seeler
Uwe Seeler
Personal information
Full name Uwe Seeler
Date of birth November 5, 1936 (1936-11-05) (age 73)
Place of birth Hamburg, Germany
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1946–1953 Hamburger SV
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1953–1972 Hamburger SV 476 (404)
National team
1954–1970 West Germany 072 0(43)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Uwe Seeler (born 5 November 1936 in Hamburg) is a former German football official and retired football player. He played for Hamburger SV and also made 72 appearances for the West German national team.


Playing career (1944-1978)

Seeler followed in his father's footsteps as a player for Hamburger SV, making his first team debut in 1954 in a German Cup match, aged just under 18, scoring four goals (8-2 vs. Holstein Kiel). In later years, despite tempting offers from Italian and Spanish clubs he remained loyal to Hamburg, working on a second career as a merchant besides playing football, as in those days football stars in Germany did not earn the huge salaries seen now.

Seeler was a gifted striker who, among other things, was renowned for his overhead kick. He scored 137 times in 239 Bundesliga games, 43 times in 72 international games for the German national team, and 21 times in 29 European club tournament games. He was captain of both his club team and the national team for many years. He and his club won the German championship in 1960 and the DFB-Pokal (German FA Cup) in 1963. He was top scorer of the first Bundesliga season 1963-64 and German Footballer of the Year in 1960, 1964 and 1970.

In 1978 he and his former team-mate Franz-Josef Hönig played for Cork Celtic F.C. in a one-off sponsored event. Seeler had ended his active playing career in 1972. However, this match turned out to be an official League of Ireland one and Uwe scored twice. Thus, his overall record of goals scored in League and Cup matches adds up to 509 (HSV 507[1], Cork Celtic 2). So far, this record has never been topped by a German player.


World Cup

He participated in the same four Football World Cups as Pelé did: 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970. Of those West German World Cup teams only the 1966 side reached the final where they lost to host nation England in extra time.

Although Seeler never won a World Cup (his involvement as a player in the tournament started 4 years after West Germany won their first World Cup (1954) and ended 4 years before they won their second (1974)), he had a prolific career in the tournament; he was the first player ever to appear in 20 World Cup matches (he retired with 21 matches played, tied for third all-time); the first ever to score in 4 world cups (beating Pelé by only a few minutes), and the only player ever to score at least 2 goals in each of 4 world cups. He also ranks third in all-time minutes played in World Cups, with 1980, behind Paolo Maldini and Lothar Matthäus.

Career after football

He had a 2½-year tenure as president of Hamburger SV, which began in 1995, and ended in resignation due to a financial scandal, for which he took responsibility. Seeler, however, was not himself implicated in the irregularities.


Uwe Seeler was a tremendously popular player due to his fairness, modesty, and kindness and is still widely called Uns Uwe (northern German: Our Uwe) in Hamburg and the surrounding area. The DFB (German FA) made him the second honorary captain of the German national team in 1972 (the first being Fritz Walter). In 2003 he became honorary citizen of his hometown Hamburg, the first time the honor was bestowed on a sportman.[2] That year he also published his memoirs Danke, Fußball (Thank you, football).


Seeler has appeared in a cameo role in the popular 1972 Heinz Erhardt comedy Willi wird das Kind schon schaukeln (liberally translated: "Willi will work it out somehow"), playing himself. In this film, a manager called Jungborn (Erhardt) is managing a football club. In the end, his club makes a spectacular signing: Seeler himself. The main joke is that everybody in the club is jubilant, but Jungborn is puzzled and just asks "who in devil's name is that guy?". At the time, Seeler was a very renowned German.

German football picture of the century and controversy

Uwe Seeler has been immortalized in a famous picture, voted as Photo of the Century by the German Kicker football sport magazine. It shows him seemingly devastated by the 1966 World Cup Finals loss, walking off the pitch hunched over.[1] Remarkable is the fact that a band is playing in the background.

However, there is controversy when exactly the picture was taken. According to one source, the photo was taken after the final whistle, because the band played God Save the Queen to greet Queen Elizabeth, who was going to give the trophy to the English squad; thus Seeler was really heartbroken. In 2009 Seeler released an English version of his autobiography.

Either way, Seeler's picture remains one of the most famous in German football history.


  1. ^ Tore, Punkte, Spieler - Die komplette HSV-Statistik, Göttingen 2008
  2. ^ Hamburgische Ehrenbürger, State Chancellery,, retrieved 2008-08-13   (German)

Simple English

Uwe Seeler
Personal information
Full name Uwe Seeler
Date of birth 5 November 1936 (1936-11-05) (age 74)
Place of birth    Hamburg, Germany
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Striker (retired)
Youth clubs
1946-1953 Hamburger SV
Senior clubs
Years Club
1954-1972 Hamburger SV
National team
1954-1970 West Germany

Uwe Seeler (born 5 November, 1936) is a former German football player. He has played for Hamburger SV and West Germany national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1954-55Hamburger SVOberliga3129
CountryGermany 519444
Total 519444

International career statistics


Germany national team



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