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Alan Rowlands

Trautmann: The Biography

Trautmann: The Biography

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The incredible story of Bernhard Carl Trautmann (Bert), Nazi Youth member, paratrooper, WWII prisoner of war and Manchester City's greatest ever goalkeeper. One of the best footballing biographies ever written.

In April 1945, a group of bedraggled, weary German prisoners of war landed at Tilbury after being captured during the last days of the war. A confused 22-year-old veteran of some of the hardest battles experienced by the Germans found himself in SE Lancs.

His name was Bernhard Carl Trautmann, later to become famous as Bert. This book is the complete story. From his early life in Bremen where he was born and his involvement in the Hitler Youth to his often hilarious internment at prisoner of war Camp 50.

After his signing by Manchester City in 1949 amid a barrage of controversy and prejudice, Trautmann ran the gauntlet of racial hatred to become, without doubt, one of the greatest goalkeepers ever seen.

He played in two successive FA cup finals, '55 and '56, the latter year bringing him into world focus when he sustained a broken neck. This is an exciting story of courage and humour and it gives an insight into professional football in the 50's and 60's.

Most of the later books have leant heavily on this original and best story of the master keeper.

If you are unaware how highly Trautmann was rated by his peers, even across the Manchester divide:

"I'll go along with most people who say one man doesn't make a team; but I do believe there are times when one man can save a team. Bert Trautmann was such a man."
(Harry Gregg, Manchester United & Northern Ireland)

"At Maine Road once, a ball was headed out to me around the 18-yard area and I caught it on the volley with full power. The area was packed with players and my shot was going straight in the top corner. For me and the other United forwards it was a goal all the way, when suddenly, Bert pulled off quite the most outstanding and best save I have ever seen. 

How he could have seen my shot through the mass of players I don't know, but he dived from one side of the goal to the other and tipped it over the bar. Bert Trautmann was the best goalkeeper around at the time." 

(Bobby Charlton, Manchester United & England)

The other image is Bert with Alan Rowlands at a book signing at the Etihad in 2011.

About the Author

Alan Rowlands was born in Patricroft, Manchester. He spent two years researching and writing Trautmann, travelling extensively within the United Kingdom and Germany.

He has been a contributor to numerous football magazines, radio broadcasts and has worked with The Footballer's Football Channel. He has also contributed to a documentary about the life of Bert Trautmann.



There are few books so fascinating and interesting to read as Trautmann the Biography and there are fewer still that are so heart wrenching. I felt as if I would cry on at least 3 occasions just reading Bert’s story. This is a must read for all football fans.


My Favorite City book…Mike “BlueWolf1894” Devlin - “Trautmann: The Biography” by Alan Rowlands. It’s phenomenal what Bert went through and accomplished at City – a true legend of the game

About Mike Devlin
Mike Devlin is an Administrator known as BlueWolf to who were the Football Blogging Awards judges “Best Football Forum 2014”
Follow BlueWolf1894 on twitter – @BlueWolf1894


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