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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 15:52 GMT
Football star Trautmann given OBE
Bert Trautmann with his OBE
Fans protested in the streets when Bert Trautmann first joined City
Former Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann has been awarded an OBE for his work for Anglo-German relations.

The 82-year-old is famous for playing in the 1956 FA Cup Final against Birmingham, despite breaking his neck.

A former German POW, Mr Trautmann was awarded his OBE at the British Embassy in Berlin on Monday.

He has just launched the Trautmann Foundation, promoting sportsmanship and exchange programmes between young and amateur players in Germany and the UK.

After the ceremony Mr Trautmann said: "I am glad that I was able to do something for the relations between Britain and Germany in a difficult time.

"I truly would like to thank the British for the way I was treated as a prisoner of war and during the whole time in your country."

He said of the work of his foundation: "It is particularly important to bring together the young people from both countries in order to eliminate prejudices.

I truly would like to thank the British for the way I was treated as a prisoner of war and during the whole time in your country
Bert Trautmann OBE

"I am sure that sport, and especially football, is an excellent way to do that."

Trautmann, who came to England as a prisoner of war, joined Manchester City in 1949 to the fury of fans.

Season ticket holders threatened a boycott and 40,000 people were said to have marched on the streets of Manchester to protest at the signing of a former "enemy" so soon after the war.

Bert Trautmann (left)
Trautmann injured his neck in a dive in the 1956 cup final
But Trautmann won fans over with his brilliant goalkeeping and his heroics in the 1956 Cup final which ensured City beat Birmingham 3-1.

Fifteen minutes before the end of the game, Trautmann dived at the feet of opposing striker Peter Murphy and broke his neck.

He carried on in considerable pain and went up to collect his winner's medal from the Queen.

Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, is said to have asked him why he was cocking his head. "I've got a stiff neck," Trautmann replied.

That year he was honoured as the first foreigner to be named 'Footballer of the Year.'

Trautmann stayed with Manchester City for 15 years even though this excluded him from the German national team.

Sir Peter Torry, British Ambassador, presented Trautmann with the OBE at Monday's ceremony.

Later in the week he will be a guest of the Queen during her state visit to Germany.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Goalkeeping legend Bert Trautmann is awarded an OBE



SEE ALSO:
Trautmann to be given OBE honour
28 Oct 04 |  Football


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