The German Football Association (DFB) is mourning its former general secretary and press spokesman, Wilfried Gerhardt, who has died at the age of 80.
Mr Gerhard, a journalist from the Lower Rhein who had joined the DFB in 1958 as press speaker, passed away on 17 December. From 1966 he was the German national team's press officer at five FIFA World Cups. During this time, he shared a close working relationship with the national-team coach Helmut Schön, who led West Germany to the 1974 World Cup and 1972 UEFA European Football Championship titles.
From 1984 to 1992, Mr Gerhardt served as general secretary at the DFB's Frankfurt headquarters, winning respect from all sides for his modesty and calm, and he worked together well with then FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous. "He was a man who never pushed himself forward, but who nevertheless left a deep mark on football," said DFB president Theo Zwanziger. Mr Gerhardt retired in 1992 at the age of 62.
"Wilfried Gerhardt was an extremely decent person, a true gentleman and a role model for all the staff at the DFB headquarters," said current DFB general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach. "I am grateful I was able to work with him for four years after joining the DFB in 1988."
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