Manfred Schaefer migrated to Australia from Germany at the age of 12 and took up soccer at high school. He later joined Bankstown and then transferred to St George. From 1959, Schaefer played more than 450 games for St George and made 72 national appearances for Australia between 1967 and 1974. In 1975 he retired from playing to take up coaching. Apart from the 1974 World Cup Finals, Schaefer is best known for his solid defence against stars such as Pele when Santos toured Australia, and Germany’s Gerd Muller in the World Cup Finals.