Ernst Ocwirk

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Ernst Ocwirk
Ocwirk in 1953
Personal information
Date of birth (1926-03-07)7 March 1926
Place of birth Vienna, Austria
Date of death 23 January 1980(1980-01-23) (aged 53)
Place of death Klein-Pöchlarn, Austria
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
FC Stadlau
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1942–1947 Floridsdorfer AC 83 (3)
1947–1956 Austria Wien 209 (31)
1956–1961 Sampdoria 154 (37)
1961–1962 Austria Wien 15 (5)
Total 461 (76)
National team
1945–1962 Austria 62 (6)
Teams managed
1962–1965 Sampdoria
1965–1970 Austria Wien
1970–1971 1. FC Köln
1971–1973 Admira Wacker
Representing  Austria
FIFA World Cup
Third place 1954 Switzerland
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ernst Ocwirk (7 March 1926 – 23 January 1980) was an Austrian football player and coach. He played as midfielder mainly for FK Austria Wien in Austria and U.C. Sampdoria Genua in Italy. He was also a player of the Austrian national football team. He is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian footballers of all time.

Nicknamed Clockwork by the British for his midfield consistency, as well as the nickname being suggested by his surname, he is often cited as the last of the old-fashioned attacking centre-halves; he was known for his aesthetic and technical style of playing, his heading ability, excellent timing (both in offensive and defensive tasks) and his passing range; particularly his long passing ability. The fans loved him for his modest and fair personality. The international media of the era saw Ocwirk as "the best centerhalf in the world". He is considered one of the greatest central midfielders of all time.

Club career[change | change source]

Ocwirk began his career as a striker. He joined his first club, the local FC Stadlau, in 1938. He then played for Floridsdorfer AC, where he was spotted by former Austrian international Josef Smistik, who moved Ocwirk to centre midfield. Smistik tried to bring him to his former team, Rapid Wien, but it was FK Austria who won the race and signed him in 1947. With Austria he won five Austrian League championships and three domestic cups.

1956 he went to Sampdoriaand was the second Austrian footballer ever to play in Seria A after Engelbert König. Ocwirk played five seasons at the Genova club. He also became the captain. In 1961 he returned to FK Austria and played there his last season. He was winning in 1961–62.

Ocwirk was chosen in Austria's Team of the Century in 2001.

International career[change | change source]

Ocwirk played 62 caps matches and scored six goals for Austria.[1] He made his debut in 1945 and played at the 1948 Olympic Games in London.[2] At the 1954 World Cup he was captain of Austria and played in all five of his team matches. He scored two goals during the tournament: one in the memorable quarter-final against hosts Switzerland, and the 3–1 in the third-place match against reigning champions Uruguay.[3]

Coaching career[change | change source]

After retiring from playing, Ocwirk became a manager. Sampdoria was the first team he coached from 1962 to 1965. He also managed 1. FC Köln one year whre he reached final of the DFB Cup. Before the time in Germany he managed his former club FK Austria Wien. After his year in Germany he trained VfB Admira Wacker Mödling.

Death[change | change source]

He died in January 1980 of multiple sclerosis in Klein-Pöchlarn, Lower Austria.

Honours[change | change source]

Austria Wien



References[change | change source]

  1. Appearances for Austrian National Team – RSSSF
  2. "Ernst Ocwirk". Olympedia. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  3. Record at FIFA Tournaments – FIFA

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Austria Walter Zeman
Austrian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Austria Othmar Schneider