Bert Trautmann: The Remarkable Journey of a Legendary Goalkeeper

CEO Tam DT
Bernhard Carl "Bert" Trautmann EK OBE BVO (22 October 1923 - 19 July 2013) was a German professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964. His incredible journey from...

Bert Trautmann

Bernhard Carl "Bert" Trautmann EK OBE BVO (22 October 1923 - 19 July 2013) was a German professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964. His incredible journey from a prisoner of war to a football legend has left an indelible mark on the beautiful game.

Early Life in Germany

Trautmann was born in 1923 in Walle, a working-class area in Bremen, Germany. Growing up in a humble family, he developed a keen interest in sports, excelling in football, handball, and völkerball. His talent on the field caught the attention of local clubs, and he joined the YMCA and football club Blau und Weiss.

At the age of nine, Trautmann joined the Jungvolk, the junior section of the Hitler Youth. His athletic prowess earned him recognition, and he even received a certificate for athletic excellence signed by the President of Germany. As the Second World War began, Trautmann joined the Luftwaffe as a radio operator but soon became a paratrooper. He fought on the Eastern Front, earning medals for his bravery.

Captured by the British

Trautmann's life took a dramatic turn when he was captured by the British as the war drew to a close. As a former Axis paratrooper, he was classified as a Nazi. Despite his circumstances, Trautmann decided to stay in England after his release in 1948. He settled in Lancashire, working on a farm and playing football for a local team, St Helens Town.

Rise to Prominence

Trautmann's exceptional performances for St Helens Town caught the attention of Football League clubs. In 1949, he signed for Manchester City, a move that initially sparked protests due to his past. However, Trautmann won over the fans with his outstanding skills and dedication. Over time, he became an integral part of the team, playing in over 500 matches for Manchester City.

Sculpture of Bert Trautmann Sculpture of Bert Trautmann at the Manchester City Museum, UK

The 1956 FA Cup Final

Trautmann's moment of glory came in the 1956 FA Cup Final. With just 17 minutes remaining in the match, he suffered a severe injury while diving at the feet of Birmingham City's Peter Murphy. Despite his broken neck, Trautmann continued to play, making crucial saves to secure his team's victory. His heroic performance became legendary, earning him worldwide acclaim and admiration.

Life After Football

After retiring from playing, Trautmann ventured into coaching and management. He worked with various teams in England and Germany, as well as taking on coaching roles in countries like Burma, Tanzania, and Pakistan. His dedication to promoting Anglo-German understanding through football led to him being appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004.

Trautmann passed away in 2013 at the age of 89, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy. His journey from a prisoner of war to a revered football icon is a testament to his resilience and passion for the game. Bert Trautmann will forever be remembered as one of the greatest goalkeepers in football history.

Bert Trautmann's story is a remarkable testament to the power of determination and the spirit of the game. His legendary status will continue to inspire future generations of footballers and fans alike.

1