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Ex-East Germany and Dynamo Dresden star Reinhard Hafner dies at 64

Reinhard Hafner, pictured in 2008, was a legendary figure at Dynamo Dresden.

East Germany and Dynamo Dresden legend Reinhard Hafner has died at the age of 64.

Hafner was part of East Germany's greatest success when they won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, contributing the final goal in the 3-1 win over Poland in the final.

After joining Dresden from Rot-Weiss Erfurt in 1971, Hafner went on to appear in 519 competitive matches for Dynamo, the second most of any players in the club's history. He won four national titles as well as four cups, and after becoming a coach in 1988 led the club to the last ever GDR title in 1990.

The following year he won qualification for the first ever Bundesliga season to include teams from both parts of the reunified country, and then left Dynamo in 1993 to start a coaching career in the lower tiers of the German league system.

He was later given the ceremonial title of honorary captain for Dresden, and the club's sporting director Ralf Minge, who played alongside the midfielder in the 1980s, said on the club's homepage: "It's hard to find the right words.

"Hafner's death hits us to the core. There are only a handful people who have rendered great service to our club. But that's secondary right now. We have lost an endearing person, a hole has been torn right in our middle and it hurts."

Dresden president Andreas Ritter added: "One of the greatest players in our club's history has left us. We have lost a person who has grown dear to our hearts."

Hafner died on Monday morning after battling prostate cancer. Dynamo Dresden are set to honour their former player with a minute's silence ahead of Tuesday's DFB Pokal match against Arminia Bielefeld.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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