A year after his premature death in 1980, the West Stadium in Vienna Hütteldorf was renamed the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium. In honour of one of the greatest Rapid players in the club’s history the address of the new Allianz Stadium will be Gerhard Hanappi Platz 1 (Gerhard Hanappi Square 1).
The new Allianz Stadium
Stadium address Gerhard Hanappi Platz 1
As of summer 2016 Gerhard Hanappi Platz will be inaugurated in Vienna Hütteldorf, an idea discussed and formulated with the sons of the former player, who was simultaneously an architect and designer of the West Stadium. Talking about the new Allianz Stadium, Gerhard Hanappi Jr. said: “The demands have changed drastically in the past years and it’s a comforting thought that the new stadium will be aligned with the plans my father had. I’m really pleased about the idea that the square in front of the new stadium is to be named Gerhard Hanappi Platz.”
"Hanappi wrote footballing history"
“Gerhard Hanappi was one of the leading players in the post war years. As both a one-time record cap holder for Austria, as well as captaining Rapid over a number of years he wrote football history”, said Vienna Councillor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny.
Gerhard Hanappi in 1965
One of the best in the world
Gerhard Hanappi made the move to Hütteldorf in 1950 as a 21-year old after a drawn out transfer saga with Wacker Vienna, for whom he made his competitive debut as an 18-year old, winning the league and cup double in 1947. In Hütteldorf, Hanappi linked up with no less than Franz “Bimbo” Binder, the legendary trainer who called the shots in all matters on field. Hanappi spent the rest of his career in Green & White before retiring in 1964 with seven league championship winners’ medals. He also tasted a cup success with Rapid, as well as winning the Zentropa Cup and being part of the team that made the semi-finals of the European Cup (forerunner of the Champions League) in 1961. Between 1950 and 1960 Hanappi, who would go on to make a total of 382 competitive appearances for Rapid, was voted Austria’s most popular footballer on a staggering eight occasions. In his 382 appearances he scored an impressive 119 goals.
The Gerhard Hanappi Stadium
One time record cap holder for Austria
In addition he captained Rapid for seven years between 1957 and 1964; a role he also performed for the then extremely successful national team (WC 3rd place 1954) from 1955 until 1962. Until 1998 Hanappi’s 93 caps made him the most capped Austrian international of all time, and until the time of writing only Andreas Herzog (103) and Anton Polster (95) have pulled on the red of Austria on more occasions. In 1953 he was even selected in the FIFA world 11. After his tragic and premature death in 1980 following a battle with chronic illness, the West Stadium was renamed the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium in his honour, and in 1999 he was voted by Rapid fans as a member of the Rapid team of the century.