FRANKFURT: Long-time Borussia Dortmund fans are in mourning for Alfred ‘Aki’ Schmidt who has died in his home town, aged 81.
Schmidt was a Dortmund stalwart in the 1950s and early 1960s, largely in the days when German domestic football was organised in regional leagues before the advent of the national Bundesliga.
Then an inside right – now what would be termed a creative midielder – won 25 caps for West Germany under the successive managements of Sepp Herberger and Helmut Schön and played played 276 games for Dortmund (195 games with 57 goals in the Oberliga West and 81 games with 19 goals in the Bundesliga).
Schmidt was a member of the Dortmund side who won the federal championship play-off system in 1956 and 1957 but, in the latter year, missed the final win over Hamburg because coach Helmut Schneider was a devotee of the popular old theory of ‘never change a winning team.’
In 1965 Schmidt and Dortmund won the West German cup which led them on to become the first German team to win a European club trophy when Dortmund beat Liverpool in extra time in the 1966 Cup-winners Cup final in Hampden Park, Glasgow.
Schmidt’s international career stretched from 1957 to 1964. He was a member of the national team who finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and subsequent became the first Dortmund player to captain West Germany.
After retiring Schmidt turned to coaching at Kickers Offenbach, whom he steered to cup success in 1970 after beating Dortmund along the way. He also had four stints at Jahn Regensburg while also working with Preussen Munster and FK Pirmasens.
** Adolf ‘Adi’ Kunstwadl, captain of Bayern Munich in the early 1960s, has died aged 76. Kunstwadl played 120 games for Bayern between 1961 and 1967.