5. November 1936, Hamburg
1953-1972 Hamburger SV
36 appearances, 40 goals (Oberliga Nord)
239 appearances, 137 goals (Bundesliga)
Norddeutscher Meister: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963
Deutscher Meister: 1960
73 caps (43 goals)
There were times when the crowd at Germany matches would chant "Uwe, Uwe!" even when Uwe wasn't even playing. The support from the stands was addressed to the team and born of a collective appreciation for the ultimate football legend: Uwe Seeler. Few players in the history of German football have received such unqualified adoration from the fans as the Hamburg idol. What could have been the reason for that?
First of all, he did what centre-forwards are meant to do extraordinarily well. He scored goals. Lots of them, great goals, decisive goals. Mostly with the instep, occasionally with a horizontal bicycle kick - and once with the back of his head. That was in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final against England. Since then, it's almost as if every goal scored like that draws the comment "Like Uwe Seeler that time".
The fans also appreciated his down-to-earth nature and loyalty to his club. He resisted the temptation of big money from abroad and withstood the relentless and sometimes unsporting man-marking of the opposition. His worst injury, however, was of the non-contact variety. A ruptured Achilles tendon put him out of action in February 1965, albeit only temporarily, even though such an injury usually meant the end of a player's career back then.
But not for the 'little fatty', as he was affectionately known on account of his modest height of 1.68m/5.7 feet, as he was also a great fighter. Both on and off the pitch. He returned to action just four months later and played a major role in Germany qualifying for the World Cup in England. That tournament saw him celebrate his biggest international success, as the national team finished runners-up. Seeler was captain of a team whose sporting fair play did much to alter the image of Germany in the host country, which was still hostile at the time.
In 1970, he became the first sportsman to receive the Grand Federal Cross of Merit. Seeler is one of the greatest identification figures in German football. Simply "our Uwe".