Bernhard Carl “Bert” Trautmann
22 October 1923
“Bert” Trautmann is a retired German soccer goalkeeper who played for Manchester City in England from 1949 to 1964.
He fought for Germany in the Second World War and was captured and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Lancashire. After the War, Trautmann refused an offer of repatriation, and following his release in 1948 he settled in Lancashire, combining farm work with playing as goalkeeper for a local football team.
Trautmann gained a reputation as an able goalkeeper and In October 1949 he signed for Manchester City, a club playing in the highest level of soccer in the country, the First Division. The club’s decision to sign a former German paratrooper sparked protests, with 20,000 people attending a demonstration. Over time he gained acceptance through his performances in the City goal, playing all but five of the club’s next 250 matches.
Trautmann entered soccer folklore with his performance in the 1956 FA Cup Final. With 17 minutes of the match remaining he suffered a serious injury after diving at the feet of Birmingham City’s Peter Murphy. Despite his injury he continued to play, making crucial saves to preserve his team’s 3–1 lead. His neck was noticeably crooked as he collected his winner’s medal; three days later an X-ray revealed it to be broken. In those days substitutes were not allowed, so his team would have been reduced to 10 men.