* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Cor van der Hart (25 January 1928 – 12 December 2006) was a Dutch footballer. He is known as one of the best defenders of the Dutch national team in history, who was physically strong, who read the game very well and who had a quality kicking technique.
Van der Hart leaves an airplane with a stork in his hands in 1959
Van der Hart was born in Amsterdam and as a youngster he tried to become part of the famous youth academy of Ajax Amsterdam. He attended a special young talents day held at the club and out of 300 players only two were chosen to represent the club, Van der Hart and Rinus Michels. He made his Ajax debut in 1947 and won the Eredivisie title in the same year.
After Faas Wilkes as the third player in Dutch history moved abroad to become a professional football player more and more players decided it was time to leave the country and create a job out of their hobby. Van der Hart was one of these players as he moved to France to play for Lille OSC, where he became one of the first professional footballers of his country. The KNVB, which suspended all players that left the country to play professional football also suspended Van der Hart.
Van der Hart was one of the players participating in the Watersnoodwedstrijd of 12 March 1953. This was a match played in the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris and was played in honour of the victims of the North Sea flood of 1953, which happened several weeks before the match. Van der Hart, who still played as a professional in France these days, together with several others like Bram Appel, Theo Timmermans, Bertus de Harder and Kees Rijvers stated in 2003 that he heard the news over the radio and realised his country was in panic. The KNVB who still did not want to be connected with the professionals forbid the match in the first place, but due to a personal rejection from Prince Bernhard the match was played. 8,000 Dutch fans travelled to Paris to witness the match and saw their team beating the strong French team 2–1 with goals scored by De Harder and Appel. The match was the breakthrough to introduce professional football in the Netherlands. The players showed the audience in 90 minutes time how much better players could become when they were focussing on the sport professionally. Only 17 months later the first professional match in the country was played.
When professional football started in the Netherlands Van der Hart returned to his native country to play for Fortuna '54, which in these years was one of the main teams in the country. With this team he won the KNVB Cup in 1957. They also finished second in the Eredivisie behind Ajax.
In 1955 he made his debut for the Dutch national team in a match versus Denmark. In total he gained 44 caps for "Oranje" and was captain in 26 of these matches. He was able to score two international goals. One of the most memorable international matches where he participated in was the 1–2 away win versus World Champions Germany in 1956. He played his last international match in 1961.
In 1999 Van der Hart was wearing the orange shirt one more time, when he was part of the so-called "Oranje of the Century team". Van der Hart died on 12 December 2006 at the age of 78. In the UEFA Cup 2006-07 Ajax played their match versus Zulte Waregem wearing black armbands in his memory.