Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Vale Otto Josef Frick (29.10.1930 - 5.2.2019)

Photo:  Otto Frick in 2008 [PlessPix]

The death has occurred in Hobart of Otto Frick, one of the founding members of Rapid SC in Hobart in 1958.  He was aged 88 and had been in ill health for some time.

Frick was the club’s first goalkeeper, but he initially played for Juventus after arriving from Austria in 1956.

He was born in the western Austrian town of Rankweil, known since ancient times as a place where superbly built Roman roads converged.

Frick was a very cool-headed and reliable goalkeeper.  In 1958, he saved a penalty taken by the renowned George Arnott in Rapid’s 2-1 loss to Caledonians before a huge crowd at South Hobart in that year’s Falkinder Cup Final.

His place in goal for Rapid was eventually taken by Karl Jaeger, who later played for Juventus.

After retiring, he was sometimes recalled when the club had goalkeeping problems.

Frick also served in many positions on Rapid’s committee after retiring as a player.

The Rapid squad of 1958 was:  Frick; Ioannou, Zurasek, Rader, Syrginis, Hattinger, Pieper, Gmelch, Deutsch, G Kaiser, H Kaiser, Nikolai, Umgeher, Krusic, Stee.

Photo:  The Rapid side of 1961, with Otto Frick at far left of the front row.

The brilliant Jan Zurasek, a 43-year-old Pole, was player-coach of Rapid, while Frank Gmelch possessed the most powerful shot in Tasmanian soccer and was tragically killed in a mountaineering accident a few years later while on holiday in his native Austria.

Frick is survived by his wife, Edite, whom he married in 1967, two daughters and a grandson.

Photo:  Otto Frick, third from right, at a Rapid reunion in 2008, with (L-R) Joe Rader, Hubert Kaiser, Fritz Hattinger, Walter Nikolai, Gary Schmull and Chris Syrginis [PlessPix]

[Footnote:  Rapid is no more.  The club had to change its name in 1997 according to the Soccer Australia edict about ethnic names and it became Kingston Cannons.

The club then amalgamated with Christian United, which eventually became Southern FC.

From being a club founded by a group of Austrian and German migrants, it is tenuously linked to Southern FC, which has just withdrawn from the Southern Championship and will probably play in the social league.

Hank Gervan, who has coached Southern FC, is probably the only former Rapid player involved with Southern FC.  His father played with Hollandia in the 1950s.]

Photo:  The Rapid team and other players of the 1960s era at the 2008 Rapid reunion.  Back Row (L-R) - Joe Rader, Hubert Kaiser, Walter Nikolai, Otto Frick, Gary Schmull, Tony Goodman, Chris Syrginis, Alan Mackie.  Front Row (L-R) - Fritz Hattinger, Jim Dolliver, Johnny Stee and Fritz Umgeher [PlessPix]


Brian Young said...

Nice tribute, Walter. Vale Herr Frick

Anonymous said...


I remember Rapid colours being green and white. Am I wrong about this or did they change from the photo red to Green and white at some stage?

Walter said...

Rapid started with red shirts in 1958 (probably because these were the only strips available at the time and the colours of the Austrian flag are red and white) and it wasn't until the late 1960s or about 1970 that they switched to green and white, the colours of Sportklub Rapid Wien, or Rapid Vienna. Rapid in Hobart were, of course, named after that team in the Austrian capital.

Anonymous said...

Walter. Do you have a private email I can contact you on please. Thank you.