Missed the first half of the Bayern game, though I believe we were pretty poor. Good stuff after the break, it should have been 3 or 4. Negredo finally notched one but we then went onto the back foot. Old Trafford penalty given against Zab for handball, 1-1 which rankled considering the two we had turned down in the Champs League game, and inevitably they went on to win it 2-1. So 4 trophies still needed.
Chappy’s game is at 2pm at Stockport, and it looks like a pretty impressive team of reasonably recent ex players.
Bert flyers not ready yet at the printers– they’re taking longer than the fanzine does! Here’s one side :
1923 - 2013
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. Tales of the heroics of their German born, ex prisoner of war goalie, Bert Trautmann, were 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 reaction 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 taking pride of place. As a budding goalkeeper myself I naturally modelled myself on him, but only reached local league standard. 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 around the players. She looked like a film star and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.
Bert kindly signed my book, and, flicking through it, turned to George Hannah saying “this boy looks like he’s going to become a journalist”, George agreed, but for me editing a fanzine was as near as I got! 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.
I last saw Bert a couple of years ago, when he was looking in great shape. 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.
[article from October 2009, written for the programme for the game between Manchester City ex players and St. Helens Town]
Full tributes in KOTK 208