Tributes to City legend Trautmann

20 July 2013 09:02

Tributes have been paid to Bert Trautmann, the German prisoner of war who went on to earn fame for playing for Manchester City in the FA Cup final despite a broken neck, who has died at the age of 89.

Trautmann, who was awarded an honorary OBE for his work in promoting Anglo-German post-war relations, played more than 500 times for the City between 1949 and 1964.

His feat in the 1956 FA Cup final became one of the legends of the tournament when he played the final 17 minutes of that game with a broken neck to ensure victory over Birmingham City - an injury so serious he was then out of action for several months.

City are planning a tribute to their former keeper, such as a minute's applause and armbands, at their first home game of the season and will also consider a more lasting recognition of his contribution such a statue or facility being named after him.

After his playing days, Trautmann moved into management with Stockport before returning to his native Germany in 1967 to coach Preussen Munster.

City's former club secretary Bernard Halford, a long-standing friend of Trautmann's, led the club's tributes.

Halford said: "Bert took over from Frank Swift in 1949 - the City and England goalkeeper and an absolute legend in the game. There was a lot of animosity towards Bert after the war, because of his German roots.

"But Bert being the character he was and the player he was completely won them over, and the fans and people throughout football absolutely worshipped Bert Trautmann. He is a true icon of the game.

"He was the best goalkeeper I ever saw. Who could play on in a cup final with a broken neck? Bert Trautmann could. He didn't play for months afterwards but he did recover, which showed his fighting spirit. He came and played for another eight years."

The German FA (DFB) said he passed away at his home near Valencia in Spain on Friday morning.

Source: PA