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RIP Bert Trautmann: Legendary Manchester City Goalkeeper Dies, Aged 89

bert trautmann RIP Bert Trautmann: Legendary Manchester City Goalkeeper Dies, Aged 89

Legendary goalkeeper Bert Trautmann died today, at the age of 89.

Trautmann entered football folklore when he played for Manchester City in the 1956 FA Cup Final against Birmingham at Wembley. With 17 minutes of the match remaining, Trautmann suffered a serious injury, where his neck was noticeably damaged. Incredibly, though, Trautmann continued playing through until the final whistle, making several key saves, to help the Citizens win the FA Cup trophy. It wasn’t until 3 days later that an X-ray revealed that Trautmann had broken his neck.

The German-born goalkeeper played for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964. As a young man during World War II, Trautmann was a paratrooper for the German Luftwaffe. As the war drew to a close, he was captured in England, and was only one of 90 soldiers who survived out of his 1,000 strong regiment.

Trautmann was interned in a prisoner of war camp until his release in 1948, when he combined his work on a farm with goalkeeping for his local club, St Helens Town. Later, he was noticed by Manchester City, who signed him to the club despite a lot of protest from 20,000 people who attended a demonstration against the former paratrooper playing for the club.

Over time, Trautmann gained acceptance from the public and City fans, where he played all but five of the club’s next 250 matches.

In total, Trautmann made 545 appearances for Manchester City.

To learn more about Trautmann’s incredible life, watch the following video documentary series:

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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3 Responses to RIP Bert Trautmann: Legendary Manchester City Goalkeeper Dies, Aged 89

  1. christian says:

    Thanks for posting this Gaffer. Quite a story.

  2. Scrumper says:

    Bit before my time but Bert was a true footballing hero. Make no mistake, Bert’s exploits did more to bring two previously warring nations together than any politician.

  3. Kris says:

    Gaffer,

    Great post. What a fascinating story. Being from the states, I simply don’t know much of the old history regarding the early days and times of English football, and Bert Trautmann’s story was captivating.

    What a nice man, and what a keeper he was. Well done, Burt.

    “…you have to remember, in those days, even top professionals like Burt didn’t earn more than about £10 a week, with a £2 bonus for winning, but that was it…”

    Hasn’t changed a bit, has it?

    ;)

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