Passing of Dettmar Cramer, the “Father of Japanese Football”, mourned

Passing of Dettmar Cramer, the “Father of Japanese Football”, mourned

The J.League is saddened to announce the death of former Japan assistant coach Dettmar Cramer in Germany on Thursday at the age of 90.

Cramer is revered in Japan for his contributions to the growth of the country’s footballing programme in the 1960s and 1970s.

The German coach had been one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Japan Soccer League, the predecessor to the modern J.League.

He was accorded legendary status after leading Japan to a surprise win over Argentina at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

A moment of silence will be held at all MEIJI YASUDA J.League matches this weekend in honour of his passing.

“We are shocked at the sudden news of Mr. Cramer’s passing, J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai said.

“In June, shortly before the 50th anniversary party of the Japan Soccer League’s founding, I spoke with him over the phone.

“Even though he was recovering from medical treatment, he continued to talk about Japan until our conversation ended.

“Mr. Cramer expressed his delight at the J.League’s expansion throughout the country and the progress of football culture within Japan.

“It was he who proposed a national league, and the JSL formed the cornerstone of the J.League today.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to Mr. Cramer for sharing his love of the beautiful game with all of us. We humbly pray for his happiness in the next world.”

An European Cup-winning coach in 1975 and 1976, Cramer was also the first to be honoured with a lifetime-achievement award from the German Football Association.