Manfred Schaefer: Former Sydney Olympic manager and Socceroo great passes away

Manfred Schaefer

Socceroos great and former Sydney Olympic manager Manfred Schaefer died aged 80.

The defender, who migrated to Australia from the then East Germany at the age of 10, was a member of the Socceroos squad at the 1974 World Cup, making a total of 73 appearances for the Australian team between 1967 and 1974.

Telling of Australian football at the time, Schaefer took time off from his job as a milkman to take part in the World Cup, which was being held in West Germany.

Vale: Manfred Schaefer - Football NSW

In 1999, he was inducted into Football Australia’s Hall of Fame for his services to the sport.

FA chairman Chris Nikou described Schaefer, who played his club football for Blacktown and St George-Budapest, as a “giant of Australian football”.

“While not born in Australia, Manfred gave everything to Australia, representing the country both on and off the field with the greatest of distinction,” Nikou said in a statement.

“Even after retiring as a player, Manfred influenced the careers of so many of the nation’s finest players through his technical brilliance and strong managerial skills for almost three decades.

“Manfred loved all levels of Australian football and would regularly be found supporting the sport, whether at grassroots, NPL, Australia Cup or national team level, where his presence will now be sorely missed but always felt.

“On behalf of Football Australia and the Australian football community, I send my deepest condolences to the Schaefer family, his friends, and former teammates at this sad time. Manfred Schaefer, forever cap 198.”

Australian football mourns death of 1974 Socceroos World Cup hero and  friend of Pelé Manfred Shaefer

Following his retirement as a player in 1975, Schaefer had coaching stints with St George, Sydney Olympic, Brunswick-Juventus, APIA Leichhardt, Sydney Croatia, Marconi, Adelaide Sharks and Parramatta Power.

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