Football Australia is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Hall of Famer, Cliff Sander.
Sander was born in Ipswich in 1932 and played 21 times for Australia and also starred on the local scene in Queensland.
Sander experienced state premiership success very early in his career aged 17, when he was part of the St Helens side that won the Queensland title in 1948. He won another state premiership there in 1956.
A student and player at Ipswich Tech, he was with the St Helens senior team from 1948 through to 1958 before making the move to ambitious second-tier club Azzurri (later Brisbane City). He played for several years at Azzurri, including the premiership-winning 1961 season.
Sander made his national team debut as a teenager against New Caledonia in the 1950 tour of Noumea.
While it took another three years to make his next Australian appearance, against Hong Kong Chinese XI in Adelaide in 1953, he then played regularly for the national side throughout the rest of the decade.
In 1954 he came up against New Zealand twice (4-1 wins in Brisbane and Sydney), and played four times against a strong South African side in 1955, before being selected in the 1956 Olympic Games squad.
He took part in both of Australia's matches at the Melbourne Olympics (Australia's 2-0 win over Japan, and 2-4 defeat to India). Over the following decade he faced international opposition several more times, including as Queensland state captain against Everton in 1964.
Sander was inducted into the first Football Australia Hall of Fame intake in 1999.
Football Australia sends its condolences to the Sander family and those closest to Cliff. Vale.
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