Sunday 04 February 2024, 19:15

A tribute to Kurt Hamrin: 1934-2024

Kurt Roland "Kurre" Hamrin, who died on 4 February 2024 at the age of 89, was one of the top Swedish players of all time and also one of greatest in the history of Italian Serie A club Fiorentina, where he is joint record-holder for the number of goals scored for the club. Fondly remember wherever he played, the former winger began his career at AIK before going on to play in the FIFA World Cup 1958™ and amassing a remarkable collection of top honours in Italy. He became one of a very small number of players to also represent their country in another sport when he made two appearances for the Swedish ice hockey team.

“Kurre” made 32 international appearances and scored 17 goals for Sweden, between 1953 and 1965. These included the World Cup 1958 when, hosting the tournament, Sweden went all to way to the Final against eventual winners Brazil, with “Kurre” scoring four goals including one in the 3-1 semi-final win over defending champions West Germany. He became the first Swede to lift the European Cup when he was in the AC Milan side which beat Ajax Amsterdam 4-1 in the final in 1969. In the previous year, they also won Serie A and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

The move to AC Milan followed nine seasons with Fiorentina, where he scored 203 goals - a club record which was later equalled by Gabriel Batistuta - and became a legend with the fans. He helped the club win two Coppa Italia titles and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In all, he played for five clubs in Italy - Juventus, Padova and Napoli being the others - and scored a total of 190 Serie A goals, putting him among the top ten scorers in the league’s history.

“Kurre” also made his mark in his native Sweden, scoring 54 goals in 62 Allsvenskan matches for AIK after joining them as a 17-year-old and leading them out of the second division. He finished his playing career in his homeland, with IFK Stockholm. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "It is with great sadness that today we hear of the passing of all-time Swedish great Kurt "Kurre" Hamrin. "Kurre Hamrin was a FIFA World Cup runner-up in 1958, losing 5-2 to Pelé's Brazil in the Final. He was the last survivor of that game. The forward was very successful at club level and is the ninth highest goalscorer in Serie A history. Our thoughts are with his friends and family as well as the Swedish Football Association at this time."

Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nacimento (R), known as Pele, and Swedish player Kurt Hamrin, pose with a Swedish jersey with the name of Pele and the number 58