Saturday, 14 November 2009

this week

This week
Well we’ve got the latest KK in the can and off to the printers so it should be out for Liverpool. Thanks to everyone who contributed – it looks like another stonker. We’ve gone a bit upmarket too, having it upgraded to a desktop package so the quality should be better.
The boys managed to lose in Abu Dhabi 1-0 and there’s obviously no game this weekend. There is a game tomorrow, of course, at the Athletic Stadium. St Helen s Town v City legends for the Bert Trautmann Trophy celebrating 60 years since his transfer from the Saints to City. Kick off is at 1pm, there’s free parking in the North car park, and tickets are very reasonably priced at £4 and £2 for concessions. Presumably on sale in advance or on the day.
I was invited to do a little piece for the programme which you might find interesting, here it is, just in case it doesn’t go in :

For me it was 1955 when I first became interested in soccer. I was 11 years old and City were on their way to Wembley, with tales of the heroics of their German born, ex prisoner of war, goalie, Bert Trautmann, becoming legendary, as we were treated to glimpses of his performances on the newsreels and television clips of the day.
At that age I was obviously unaware of the initial re-action to the signing of the German, from St Helens Town in 1949, so soon after the war. Some fans were up in arms, boycotting City’s games in protest. However, his displays on the pitch and the publicity they generated soon had them flocking back to Maine Road. Indeed, football crowds up and down the country took our blonde hero to their hearts and it is safe to say that Bert did much for Anglo-German relations in those austere and troubled post-war times.
Like most young Blues of that era I had a scrapbook of the City stars with Bert, naturally, taking pride of place. As a budding goalkeeper myself I obviously modelled myself on him, but only reached local league standard. (though my workmate Dennis Hurst, a classmate of Frannie Lee, did play for St Helens Town). I also kept a diary of City games in scrapbook form, and on the way back from West Ham in 1959 I seized my chance for autographs as the players were travelling on the same train. I remember Bert’s wife, Margaret, being present too, and giving me a ‘boys will be boys’ look, with a wry smile, as I fussed round the players. She looked like a film star and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.
Anyway, Bert duly signed my book, flicked through it, turned to George Hannah and said “this boy looks like he’s going to become a journalist George”, George agreed, but I didn’t of course! Years later I met Bert at a Sportsmans Dinner, and told him I was a goalkeeper and had modelled myself on him, Someone then asked him a question, and he turned to me and said “Dave, you were a goalkeeper, what do you think?” I was speechless. Anyway, I last saw Bert a couple of years ago, when he was looking great. Previously I recall him being asked at a supporters club meeting if he thought that Nicky Weaver was a better goalie than him and he replied “yes, he is now, but I am 77 years of age”. Classic.
Brilliant that he has accepted the position of Honorary President at St. Helens Town. Let’s hope that today’s match for the Trautmann Trophy goes well and benefits the Trautmann Foundation and St Helens Town, and maybe prompts the Manchester City club to finally name a stand after the great man. It’s long overdue, and time is running out.

See you there
PS : Any thoughts on progressing the Trautman stand name?

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