Hansi Schmidt throwing a goal in 1970
- / dpa
The former world-class handball player Hans-Günther "Hansi" Schmidt is dead. The legendary backcourt player of VfL Gummersbach died on Sunday night after a serious illness.
The Bundesliga handball team announced this after consulting Schmidt's family.
The "Kölnische Rundschau" had previously reported.
Schmidt was 80 years old.
"With Hansi Schmidt, VfL Gummersbach loses one of the most influential and successful companions in the club's history," the Gummersbacher said in a statement.
The German Handball Association (DHB) also expressed condolences: "German handball mourns the loss of a formative face," wrote the DHB on Twitter.
"Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and friends."
Schmidt, who leaves behind his wife and two sons, is still considered one of the most prolific handball players in Bundesliga history. His name is closely linked to Gummersbach's rise in the 1960s and 1970s from a village club to an internationally feared top club.
With 1066 goals, the native of Romania led VfL to seven championship titles and four European Cup victories.
For Germany, Schmidt completed 98 international matches, in which he threw 484 goals.
He made 18 appearances for Romania before defecting to Germany in 1963 at the age of 21.