Austria has lost two of its most decorated players this week. Alfred Körner passed away on Thursday at the age of 93, while 92-year-old Theodor “Turl” Wagner died on Tuesday.
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Both were members of the Austrian team that reached the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in Switzerland in 1954, eventually finishing third in what remains the biggest success in Austrian football history.
Wagner scored a hat-trick and Körner netted twice in Austria’s remarkable 7-5 win over Switzerland in the quarter finals – the match still holds the record for the most goals in a match in World Cup finals history. Alfred Teinitzer is the only player in that Austrian team who is still alive.
Wagner was born in Vienna on 6 August 1927. As a striker, he won the Austrian championship with SC Wacker Wien in 1947. He earned 46 caps and scored 22 goals for Austria.
“A member of our golden generation has passed away. I can only say thank you for his great achievements for our sport. Turl Wagner will always remain in our memories”, said Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) president Leo Windtner.
Alfred Körner, nicknamed “Körner II” to differentiate him from his equally successful brother Robert, was born in Vienna on 14 February 1926. Körner won 47 caps for Austria, scoring 15 goals. He also took part in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, and won the Austrian title seven times with SK Rapid Wien.
“Another figurehead of Austrian football is gone,” said Windtner. “His performances at the World Cups in 1954 and 1958 will never be forgotten. Alfred Körner was one of the ÖFB’s greatest legends. He will always have a special place of honour in our hearts.”