The former football world champion Horst-Dieter Höttges is dead. His long-standing club Werder Bremen announced this on Monday, citing Höttges' family. Accordingly, the 1974 world champion and 1972 European champion died on June 22 at the age of 79 in a retirement home. Höttges has suffered from dementia in recent years.
In his professional career he was considered a tough defender. He was therefore called "iron foot". Höttges, born on September 10, 1943, switched from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Werder in 1964. A year later he became German champion with the Hanseatic League, fourth in the Bundesliga in 1966 and runner-up in 1968.
By the end of his professional career in 1978, he played 420 Bundesliga games for Bremen and scored 55 goals. "Werder won't be relegated with me," Bremen's honorary captain once said and kept his word. Only after his resignation in 1980 did Bremen have to go down to the 2nd Bundesliga.
Höttges played his first international match in March 1965 against Italy. Overall, he came up to 1974 to 66 international matches. Before winning the 1974 World Cup in his own country, he was runner-up in England in 1966 and third at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. In addition, there was the European title with the legendary team around Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller and Günter Netzer.
Last December, a collection of personal items belonging to Höttges was auctioned at the German Football Museum in Dortmund. The proceeds of 148,000 euros went to charity.