• 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,525
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd