Fritz Walter

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Friedrich "Fritz" Walter (31 October 1920 – 17 June 2002) was a German footballer. In his time with the German national team, he won 61 caps and scored 33 goals.

Contents

Life and career

Early club career

Walter was exposed to football early with his parents working at the 1. FC Kaiserslautern club restaurant. By 1928 he had joined the Kaiserslautern youth academy, and he made his first team debut at 17, continuing an association with the club that would be his only professional club.[1][2][3]

International pro teams had repeatedly offered him hefty sums, but which support from his wife always declined in order to stay at home, to play for his home town, the national team and "Chef" (German for "boss") Herberger.

International debut

Walter debuted with the German national team in 1940 under Sepp Herberger, and scored a hat-trick against Romania.[2]

War

Walter was drafted into the armed forces in 1942, however, the end of the war found 24 year old Fritz in a Prisoner of War camp in Máramarossziget in which he played with Hungarian and Slovakian guards. When the Soviets arrived they in general took all German prisoners back to a Gulag in Soviet Union where life expectancy was about five years. Fortunately, one of the Hungarian prison guards had seen Fritz playing for Germany told them that Fritz was not German but Austrian, and his life was spared.[2]

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