• Germany edition
 
Broken-neck football hero Bert Trautmann dies
Photo: DPA

Broken-neck football hero Bert Trautmann dies

Published: 19 Jul 2013 17:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jul 2013 17:38 GMT+02:00

"He was a wonderful sportsman and a real gentleman. He came as a soldier and therefore as a wartime foe to England and became a celebrated hero there. He was a legend during his own lifetime. His extraordinary career will remain in the history books forever," German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach said on Friday morning.

Trautmann was captured as a German paratrooper in World War II, passed away Friday morning at his home, near Valencia, Spain, and had been voted the 1956 English player of the year following his Wembley heroics.

He wrote himself into English football folklore after being injured diving at the feet of Birmingham City striker Peter Murphy with 17 minutes left of the Wembley final. As no substitutes were allowed in that era, Trautmann played on despite considerable pain and made crucial saves in the game's dying stages to preserve City's 3-1 lead.

His neck was noticeably crooked when he collected his winner's medal and three days later an X-ray revealed he had dislocated five vertebrae, one of which was fractured in two, and the injury nearly cost him his life.

Trautmann later said the collision with Murphy had felt "like a plane crash".

"Bert was a true club legend in the best sense of the word," said Manchester City in a club statement.

"He was one of the greatest City goalkeepers of all time and a wonderful ambassador, not only for his country, but also for Manchester City.

"For anyone who knew him, Bert will be sorely missed, just as he will by the entire football world."

A decorated veteran of the Eastern Front in World War II, who was later captured having served in Normandy following D-Day, Trautmann was held as a prisoner-of-war in Lancashire until 1948 where he started playing football.

He went on to make 545 appearances for City, who he played for until 1964, and moved into management after his career, first with lower-division sides in England and Germany, and then managed national teams in Burma, Tanzania and Pakistan.

Trautmann later received an OBE for promoting Anglo-German understanding through football in 2004, and in 2008 was similarly decorated by the DFB.

AFP/ The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German of the Week
Should we all get €12,000 a year?
Martin Bohmeyer has not worked for money in six months. Photo: DPA

Should we all get €12,000 a year?

What would happen if everyone was suddenly paid €1,000 a month with no strings attached? "Let's try it," says Michael Bohmeyer, who raised the money through crowdfunding and will now experiment with the idea of a basic income for one year. He is The Local's German of the Week READ  

Language barrier foils supermarket hold-up
Communication is key for cops and robbers alike: Photo: DPA

Language barrier foils supermarket hold-up

An armed robber fled a Berlin supermarket empty-handed in frustration over his lack of German language skills, the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported Thursday. READ  

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight
A Swiftair flight Photo: EPA/SWIFTAIR

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight

UPDATE: Four Germans were among the 116 people onboard a Air Algérie flight which crashed over Mali on Thursday, according to the airline which operated flight number AH5017. READ  

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'
The hospital in Munich where the midwife worked. Photo: DPA

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'

A midwife in Munich stands accused of trying to murder four pregnant mums during childbirth using a blood-thinning drug. READ  

Top university switches master's to English
Munich's TU university wants to switch its master's programmes to English. Photo: DPA

Top university switches master's to English

UPDATE: One of Germany’s top universities wants to ditch German and switch almost all of its master’s programmes to English in the next six years, prompting fears that the academic standing of the German language is under serious threat. READ  

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer
Anja Niedringhaus (r) with colleague Kathy Gannon in 2013. Photo: DPA

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer

A former Afghan police commander has been sentenced to death in Kabul for the killing of German war reporter and photographer Anja Niedringhaus in April this year. READ  

ECB blackmailed after data stolen
The ECB building (right) in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

ECB blackmailed after data stolen

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt has received a blackmail letter after its public website was hacked and contact data stolen, the bank said on Thursday. READ  

Manhunt on for police officer's killer
Police searching the area on Thursday morning have released an e-fit of the suspect. Photo: DPA/Polizei Hessen

Manhunt on for police officer's killer

UPDATE: An off-duty police officer was shot dead in a street in western Germany on Wednesday night, prompting a large-scale manhunt for the culprit. READ  

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city
Photo: DPA

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city

Berlin is the fastest growing tourist destination among Europe’s major cities, with overnight stays in the capital up eight percent in 2013. It could soon topple Paris as Europe’s number two tourist city. READ  

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'
Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International airport board shows cancelled flights from Europe on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'

Politicians criticized German flight operators for "surrendering to terror" after they refused on Thursday to resume flights to Tel Aviv, despite a US decision to lift a two-day flight ban to the Israeli city. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,285
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd