“Today is a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and all its fans,” said Bayern President Herbert Hainer in a statement on the club’s website.
“Gerd Müller was the greatest striker there’s ever been, and a fine person and character of world football.”
Nicknamed “Der Bomber,” Müller still holds the record for the most goals — 365 — scored in the Bundesliga. He also netted 68 goals in 62 games for the West Germany national team.
After joining Bayern in 1964, Müller went on to win four Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, three European Cups, the European Cup Winners’ Cup as well as the Intercontinental Cup, a competition played between the winners of the European Cup and South America’s Copa Libertadores.
“His achievements are unrivaled to this day,” said Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn. “As a player and a person, Gerd Müller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one of the biggest clubs in the world like no other.”
In the 1974 World Cup final, Müller scored the winner in West Germany’s 2-1 victory against the Netherlands.
Müller is survived by his wife Uschi and a daughter, according to the Bayern website.
“We’re all united in deep mourning with his wife Uschi as well as his family,” added Hainer. “FC Bayern wouldn’t be the club we all love today without Gerd Müller. His name and memory will live on forever.”
After retiring, Müller remained with Bayern working as a youth coach. However, in later life he suffered from dementia, according to FIFA’s website in November 2020, and lived in a care home to the south of Munich, where he was regularly visited by his wife.
Uschi Muller said her husband, “is in bed for almost 24 hours a day and is only awake for a few moments,” she told Bild newspaper.
In the final minute of Bayern Munich’s 5-2 victory over Augsburg on May 22, the Polish striker collected the rebound of Leroy Sane’s shot to tap home his 41st goal of the season. That match was the final game of the 2020/2021 season.
Lewandowski had previously tied Müller’s 49-year record the previous weekend, revealing a shirt afterward paying tribute to the legendary Bayern striker which read “4EVER GERD.”
Lewandowski is second on the all-time scorers’ list in the Bundesliga, with 277 goals now, behind only Müller’s 365.