East Germany football legend Bransch dies at 77

by Agence France-Presse
picture alliance / Getty

Berlin, June 12, 2022 (AFP) - Former East Germany captain Bernd Bransch has died aged 77 after a long illness, his old club Halle said in a statement on Sunday.

Bransch played 72 times for East Germany and was twice voted East German footballer of the year.

He was captain of the team when they reached their only World Cup finals in 1974, in West Germany -- where they beat the hosts, who went on to win the tournament.

Bransch also helped East Germany to win Olympic gold in 1976, as well as bronze in 1972.

"On behalf of all members, active players, fans, sponsors, employees and committee representatives, I express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Bernd Bransch," said Halle president Jens Rauschenbach.

He described Bransch as "one of the most important personalities of the club and ambassadors for the city of Halle".

Bransch played almost 300 league games for Halle, initially as a forward and later as a defender, excelling as a sweeper.