Former Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann has died aged 89, the German Football Association confirmed on Friday.
The German, who arrived in England as a prisoner of war, is famously remembered for having played the last 17 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup final with a broken neck.
City went on to win the match against Birmingham, securing Trautmann an FA Cup winner’s medal, while he was also honoured as the Footballer of the Year in the same season.
After initially playing for St Helens Town, Trautmann went on to make more than 500 appearances for City before joining Wellington Town for a brief stint and then venturing into management.
Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German FA, said Trautmann, who suffered two heart attacks earlier this year, will always be remembered fondly in the football community.
“Bert Trautmann was an amazing sportsman and a true gentleman,” he said in a statement.
“He went to England as a soldier, and thus a war enemy, and he became a celebrated hero there. He was a legend.
“His extraordinary career will remain forever in the history books.”
City’s club ambassador Mike Summerbee also added to the chorus of praise for Trautmann.
“He was a big man, a giant of a man, in every sense of the word,” the former City forward told the club’s official website.
“He was courageous, determined, intrepid and above all that one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time who always retained a deep interest in Manchester City and kept a place in his heart for the club’s fans.”
After retiring, Trautmann managed countries such as Burma, Liberia and Pakistan before setting up the Trautmann Foundation in 2004, which is designed to increase sportsmanship and exchange programmes between the UK and Germany.
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