28/10/2004

City hero who played Cup final with broken neck awarded OBE

Bert Trautmann, the Manchester City goalkeeper who famously played the final stages of the 1956 FA Cup final with a broken neck, has been awarded an honorary OBE.

Mr Trautmann, 82, who is being honoured for his work to improve British-German relations, has been recognised by the Queen ahead of her state visit to Germany next week.

Trautmann's signing for Man City in 1949 caused consternation among supporters as he fought for Germany on the Russian front in WWII. After being captured by the British in 1945, he was interned in a PoW camp at Ashton, near Manchester where he showed his skills in football matches between camps.

After the war, he played for St Helens Town, before joining Manchester City – and helping City take the Cup 3-1 in that memorable match. He went on to become the first foreign "Footballer of the Year". Trautmann played his last game for the club in 1964, when 60,000 fans turned out for his testimonial.

Mr Trautmann will be a guest of The Queen at a Reception and Gala Concert at the Berlin Philharmonie on 3 November. He will be joined that evening by the current Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehman, who is following in Trautmann's footsteps as a German goal-keeping star plying his trade in English football.

Even at the age of 82, Trautmann has not finished his work for UK-German reconciliation. He has just launched a new body; the Trautmann Foundation, aimed a promoting British-German understanding through football.

Bert Trautmann will be invested as an honorary OBE (Officer of the British Empire) by the British Ambassador, Sir Peter Torry, at the British Embassy on the 1 November.

(gmcg/sp)

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