Fritz Szepan

Fritz Szepan

Football Biography
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Fritz Szepan

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Friedrich "Fritz" Szepan (2 September 1907 in Gelsenkirchen – 14 December 1974 in Gelsenkirchen) was a German footballer in the period leading up to and including World War II. He spent his entire career with Schalke 04 where he won six national championships and one German Cup. He is commonly regarded as one of the greatest Schalke players of all time. To celebrate the 100th birthday of the club, the supporters voted the Schalker Jahrhundertelf, the "Team of the century": he was included in the midfield. From 1929 to 1938 he played for the German national team which he led as captain in 30 matches and during two World Cups. Usually a highly skilled midfielder, his versatility allowed him to play centre half and as forward.


Fritz Szepan was born in 1907 in the industrial town of Gelsenkirchen, in a family that came to Gelsenkirchen from the East Prussian Kreis Neidenburg. He joined Schalke 04 as a youth player in 1916 and remained with the side until his retirement in 1950. He first played for the senior side at the age of 17 in 1924. He and his brother-in-law Ernst Kuzorra led Schalke during the era of the team's greatest success in the 30s when it was the dominant club in Germany. Together they established the famous "Schalker Kreisel" system that used short flat passes to overwhelm their opponent's defense.

Unlike Kuzorra, Szepan also had a successful international career. From 1929 to 1938 he played for the German national team which...
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