Kurt Hamrin obituary

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The Swedish footballer Kurt Hamrin, who has died aged 89, was a star of the 1958 World Cup when Sweden reached the ultimate and was a serious hit within the Italian league in the course of the Fifties and 60s with Fiorentina and Milan, with whom he gained main European honours.

The 1958 finals, performed in Sweden, confirmed Hamrin at his dynamic greatest on the correct wing. With a low centre of gravity, very good shut management and nice tempo, he was a key determine in his nation’s passage to the ultimate. Sweden’s Yorkshire-born supervisor, George Raynor, characterised his gamers as “the slowest within the competitors” however this might scarcely have utilized to the fleet-footed Hamrin.

The objective for which he can be greatest remembered got here within the semi-final towards West Germany in Gothenburg. All by the sport Hamrin had been tormenting the German left-back, Erich Juskowiak, along with his abilities and velocity. Finally an exasperated Juskowiak hacked him down, and was despatched off for his pains.

Shortly afterwards, stockings round his ankles as at all times, Hamrin picked a ball up close to the right-hand touchline, appeared to be feigning somnolence, then immediately and electrically sprang to life, dribbling previous three males at high velocity earlier than taking pictures residence previous the goalkeeper from an acute angle. The objective put Sweden 3–1 up, and secured a spot within the ultimate towards Brazil, which was misplaced 5-2.

In all Hamrin performed 32 instances for Sweden between 1953 and 1965, scoring 17 targets and forming a formidable partnership with one other small winger, Nacka Skoglund. Although normally stationed out huge, Hamrin was by no means averse to wandering into the center, the place he might make use of his nice prowess within the air, regardless of being solely 5ft 7in.

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Kurt Hamrin strolling on to the pitch in Milan, Italy. He joined AC Milan in 1967. {Photograph}: Reuters

Hamrin, typically referred to as Kurre, was born in Stockholm and made his identify with the native AIK membership. After three years there, scoring 54 targets in 62 league matches, in 1956 he was transferred to Juventus of Turin, the place he was gradual to settle. In 1957, two distinguished international attackers, Omar Sivori of Argentina and the Welsh worldwide centre-forward John Charles, arrived – which meant Juventus needed to do away with Hamrin or overshoot their quota of foreigners.

He was lent to the a lot much less modern Padova membership, and, after his exploits within the World Cup finals, was transferred to Fiorentina of Florence, the place he was in a position to absolutely deploy his abilities.

He scored 26 Serie A targets in his first season there, and one other 26 within the second, finally reaching a tally of 203 targets for the membership, a Fiorentina document that he holds collectively with the Argentinian centre-forward Gabriel Batistuta.

Hamrin’s 9 years with Fiorentina had been the core of his high quality profession, and whereas he was there he gained two Italian Cups (1961 and 1966) and a European Cup Winners’ Cup (1961). However in 1967 Milan purchased him and he bagged extra honours.

In Rotterdam, in 1968, he obtained each Milan’s targets once they gained the European Cup Winners’ Cup towards Hamburg in Rotterdam, and a yr later, having pocketed a Serie A champions medal, he was once more on Milan’s proper wing when Ajax, the Dutch champions, had been crushed 4-1 within the 1969 European Cup ultimate. By then in his mid-30s, Hamrin moved to Napoli (1969-71) for a ultimate Italian fling earlier than a final season again in Sweden with IFK Stockholm, after which he retired from the sport.

Off the sector Hamrin was a taciturn fellow. I bear in mind sitting subsequent to him on the Fiorentina crew coach en path to a match towards Bologna. When he did converse it was to say “That’s stunning.” I seemed out of the window. “You imply the countryside?” I requested. “No,” he mentioned. “The autostrada.”

After his retirement as a footballer Hamrin moved again to Florence and continued to reside there, working as a scout for Milan from 1998 till 2008.

Together with his spouse Marianne, whom he married in 1955, he had 5 youngsters, Susanna, Carlotta, Piero, Riccardo and Erika.

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