Horst Eckel

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Horst Eckel
Horst Eckel 2014 65 (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full name Horst Eckel
Date of birth (1932-02-08) 8 February 1932 (age 85)
Place of birth Vogelbach, Germany
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
SC Vogelbach
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1960 1. FC Kaiserslautern 214 (34)
1960–1966 SV Röchling Völklingen
National team
1952–1958 West Germany 32 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Horst Eckel (born 8 February 1932) is a former German footballer.

In the 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Eckel became the first substitute in the history of football. He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup.[1] He also participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.[2] In total he earned 32 caps. During his club career he played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern and SV Röchling Völklingen. Because of his rapid way of playing, he got the nickname Windhund (sighthound).

Eckel debuted in Kaiserslautern's first team in 1947 at the age of 15.[3] He won the German football championship with Kaiserslautern in 1951 and 1953. Eckel was playing as a right half back. As a player, Eckel was assiduous and adroit.[3] During the 1954 FIFA World Cup Eckel became an important pillar of the successful West German team. The strength of the right side of Sepp Herberger's team was made possible due to Eckel's high defensive workrate and his passes, from which outside right Helmut Rahn and inside right Max Morlock benefitted enormously.[3]

After his career, he retrained from toolmaker to teacher, a profession he practised until his retirement.

He was an advisor for The Miracle of Bern, Sönke Wortmann's movie about the 1954 FIFA World Cup.

As of February 2017, Eckel is one of the only two players still alive from the 1954 FIFA World Cup winner team, the other being Hans Schäfer.[4]


  1. ^ "Horst Eckel Statistics". FIFA. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "1958 FIFA World Cup: Germany FR Squad". FIFA. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Bitter, Jürgen (1997). Deutschlands Fußball Nationalspieler (in German). Sportverlag. p. 96. 
  4. ^ "Horst Eckel: "Ich habe nicht für Geld Fußball gespielt"". kicker.de (in German). 8 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.