Dutch legend Wim Suurbier dies at the age of 75

Wim Suurbier, a key member of the fabled Ajax and Netherlands teams of the early 1970s, died on Sunday at the age of 75.

He had been hospitalized in Amsterdam since late April with a cerebral hemorrhage from which he never recovered.

Suurbier was a right back who epitomized the "Total Football" of the Ajax and Dutch teams with his runs down the wing into attacking positions. He won seven Dutch league titles and three European Cup titles with Ajax and played on the Dutch teams that finished second at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups.

The on-field conductor of "Total Football" was Johan Cruyff, who died in 2016. Cruyff's son, Jordi Cruyff, said Suurbier was "a great player and an extremely loyal friend to my father and family. I hope you get to reunite up there."

Like Cruyff, Suurbier moved to the NASL to play for the Los Angeles Aztecs in 1979. He later played for the San Jose and Golden State Earthquakes and coached the Tulsa Roughnecks in the NASL's final season in 1984.

Suurbier stayed in the United States after the NASL folded and played indoors and coached in the Western Soccer League, American Soccer League and American Indoor Soccer Association.

Like many of his teammates, Suurbier had a reputation for enjoying nightlife.

"The anecdotes about Suurbier's pranks are countless," said Ajax in a statement. "Yet he took football dead seriously."

3 comments about "Dutch legend Wim Suurbier dies at the age of 75".
  1. frank schoon, July 13, 2020 at 9:25 a.m.

    Wim began as Rightfooted leftwing throughout his developmental years until Rinus Michels made him a Rightback. Barry Hulshoff of the famous Ajax team passed away in february. Barry played throughout his developmental years as a Centerforward until Rinus Michels made him a Centerfullback , leaving Johan Cruyff to play the Centerforward role. There are only 2 remaining defenders still living, Ruud Kroll who played right wing all his developmental years until Rinus MIchels made him a Leftback and Horst Blankenburg ,a german player, who played the attacking sweeper role. In sum the whole back line basicly were made up of former attackers.

    At midfield  Arie Haan,the centerhalf and Johan Neeskens, the righthalf are still alive and on the front line Johnny Rep and Sjaak Swart ,both played the right wing position.

    Wim Suurbier was as serious a player on the field as he was non-serious off the field.. One of his roommates told of how both of them left a party having too much to drink. During an alcohol check , knowing they wouldn't pass the breath test, Wim decided for both to jump and sit in the back seats. As the officer approached the car ,they told him that the driver ran off. As compsation one of the officers drove them home. He and George Best were great buddies and fun-loving.

    He never appeared on tv for interviews. He had very lucrative offers for autobiographies and books about his life as player and the stories he could tell but turned them all down ,even when he became bankrupt , he believed in remaining loyal to all his friends, refusing to place anyone in a bad light....He had absolute no enemies they all loved Wim....

    RIP, WIM....

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, July 14, 2020 at 8:17 p.m.

    Aaaahh, Those were the Days; Long Hair and Short Shorts... RIP Wim

  3. frank schoon replied, July 14, 2020 at 8:42 p.m.

    Santiago, I wish they would go back to those shorts.  They were the perfect cut......

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