• Club | 14/11/2017

    Funeral Service in Cologne

    Farewell Hans Schäfer

  • Club | 14/11/2017

    Funeral Service in Cologne

    Farewell Hans Schäfer

  • Club | 14/11/2017

    Funeral Service in Cologne

    Farewell Hans Schäfer

  • Club | 14/11/2017

    Funeral Service in Cologne

    Farewell Hans Schäfer

  • Club | 14/11/2017

    Funeral Service in Cologne

    Farewell Hans Schäfer

Numerous attendees offered their condolences to Hans Schäfer at the Kölner Südfriedhof (Cologne South Cemetery) on Tuesday as the FC Legend was laid to rest. 1. FC Köln would like to honor the greatest player in club history by naming the South Stand after him.

FC and the entire city of Cologne said their farewells to Hans Schäfer on Tuesday. Around 250 invited guests attended the funeral service at the Krieler Cathedral. Attendees included DFB President Reinhard Grindel, General Secretary Dr. Friedrich Curtius, past FC representatives like Klaus Hartmann, Dietmar Arzinger-Bolten, Andrea Rettig, Michael Meier, and Erich Rutemöller as well as the FC board comprising of Werner Spinner, Markus Ritterbach, Toni Schumacher, FC Managing Director Alexander Wehrle, and countless other former teammates or friends like Wolfgang Overath, Heinz Hornig, and Stephan Engels.

The Zollstock-born local Cologne boy was once regarded as the best left-wing in the world. He played his entire career at 1. FC Köln – a club he captained to two German championships in 1962 and 1964. He was also part of the legendary West-Germany team that achieved the “Miracle of Bern” after coming back from two goals down to defeat the heavily favored Hungarians with a score of 3-2 in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final. On the 7 November 2017, “de Knoll” (a nickname given to him by fans and teammates for his stubbornness) passed away at the age of 90.

The speakers at the funeral service included former FC player and manager Karl-Heinz Thielen as well as current Vice-President Toni Schumacher. “All of us that once wore the jersey of FC and the German national team think of ourselves as big figures, but in comparison to Hans we are all small,” said the FC Vice-President. “From all player personalities in the history of 1. FC Köln, Hans Schäfer is the greatest. And that is not going to change ever.”

Schumacher also praised Schäfer’s abilities on the pitch and his character. “He was a fighter, an instigator, and crazy in the greatest way possible. With these traits, you can win matches in a hundred years from now. Regardless of a false nine, a double “6”, or a three or four-man back line.”

According to Schumacher, there are two names that will remain synonymous with 1. FC Köln. “Franz Kremer, who died just about 50 years ago on the 11. November 1967. And Hans Schäfer,” said Schumacher. The FC Vice-President then explained that he intends to ask the city of Cologne to name the South Stand in the RheinEnergieSTADION after Hans Schäfer. The name should fit to FC and its fans: irrepressibly boisterous, determined, stubborn, and loyal. It should be given the same nickname that was once given Schäfer: De Knoll.

The current FC squad also made it in between training sessions to attend the burial of Schäfer at the cemetery. An additional 1,000 people, including many fans, also made the trip. Even the last living World Champion of 1954, Horst Eckel, was there to pay his respects. A trumpeter played the hymn of 1. FC Köln and then Hans Schäfer was laid to rest. Just meters away from the ground in which FC founding President Franz Kremer rests peacefully.

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