Rest in Peace, Fredi Körner
SK Rapid has some sad news to share. Early on Thursday morning, Alfred ‘Fredi’ Körner passed away after a short illness, aged 93. He had been Rapid’s oldest living player.
Born on the 14th February 1926, Alfred Körner went on to play an incredible 17 seasons for Rapid, scoring 157 goals in 283 league games. He was twice nominated for the famous “Sportschau” team of the season (1947/48 & 1949/50), winning the Austrian Cup with Rapid in the 1945/46 season.
In 1950/51, he was part of the Rapid side that won the Mitropa Cup, the predecessor to the European Cup, with the Hütteldorfers defeating Admira Vienna 3-2 in the final. He and his brother Robert (who passed away back in 1989) became the most successful pair of siblings ever to play for SK Rapid.
At the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, "Körner II" was picked for the Austrian national team. Austria secured a third-place finish, the best result in the history of Austrian football. He was capped 47 times by the national team, scoring 14 goals. After the passing of his friend and teammate Turl Wagner just a few days ago, Fredi Körner´s death marks the passing of the last member of that legendary Austrian side.
From 1959 to 1963 he represented Admira Vienna, where he played out the remainder of his career. He certainly kept the Hütteldorfers in his heart though. Up until recently he was an active part of the club, serving as a member of the club’s advisory board, attending every home game and regularly appearing as a guest at club events. For his 90th birthday, the main event of the “Rapid Run” for which he gave the starting signal was named the “Alfred Körner Race” in his honour.
CEO Christoph Peschek spoke about the sad passing of a Rapid star who burned bright until the end. “Fredi Körner was truly unique, and he will live on in the heart of the whole Rapid family. We will honour his memory, and he will go down as one of the greatest personalities in the history of our club. I would like to express our sincere condolences to his family, as well as his numerous friends and companions, both personally and on behalf of SK Rapid. Like almost nobody else, Fredi Körner embodied the Green and White virtues until his last breath. Through his unwavering team spirit, he could be seen as the very essence of Rapid personified.”
In memory of Fredi, SK Rapid will be holding a minute’s silence before the official opening game of 2020, and the team will wear a special armband as a mark of respect.