German heroes Walter, Flohe pass away

Ottmar Walter won the German league with FC Kaiserslautern in 1951 and '53 respectively.
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Ottmar Walter, a member along with his brother Fritz of the West Germany squad that won the 1954 World Cup, has died. He was 89.

The German Football Association said Walter died in a care home early Sunday.

''Ottmar Walter was one of the players who made the Miracle of Bern possible,'' association president Wolfgang Niersbach said in a statement, referring to the 1954 World Cup final in the Swiss capital when Hungary led 2-0 before West Germany recovered to win 3-2.

In all, the striker made 20 appearances for the national side and scored 10 goals.

Walter spent most of his professional career playing for FC Kaiserslautern, where he scored 336 goals in 321 matches. Together with his brother Fritz, who died in 2002, Walter won the German league with Kaiserslautern in 1951 and '53.

''With Ottmar's death we lose another piece of our history,'' said Stefan Kuntz, the club's chairman. ''We will remember an outstanding sportsman and human being.''

Reports from Germany pointed that Heinz Flohe, a member of West Germany's 1974 World Cup-winning team, also died. He was 65.

The German Football Association said Sunday that Flohe died in his home city of Euskirchen late Saturday. He had been in a coma for more than three years following a collapse.

The former FC Cologne midfielder played 39 games for West Germany, scoring eight goals. Flohe also captained Cologne when it won the league and German cup titles in 1978.

Germany won the 1974 World Cup at home, beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the final.

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