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Trautmann [Hardcover]

Alan Rowlands
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2009
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. They were dispersed to prison camps throughout England and one of their number, a confused 22-year-old veteran of some of the harshest conditions and hardest battles experienced by the German forces, found himself in south-east Lancashire. 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 raised in the seething political climate of the 1920s, his involvement with the Hitler Youth movement and extraordinary war experiences to his often hilarious internment at prisoner of war Camp 50, until 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, 1955 and 1956, the latter year bringing him into world focus when he sustained a broken neck. Yet he continued with the game! Within weeks of that Cup Final he suffered further appalling personal tragedy, amid turmoil in his home life, as he fought to regain his fitness. This is an exciting story of courage and humour and it gives a rare insight into the professional football world of the 1950s and 1960s, while recording with candour Trautmann's often turbulent personal and professional life. The book also includes details of the Traumann Foundation and Trautmann's OBE.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Breedon Publishing (5 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185983762X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859837627
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! 6 July 2008
I cannot believe there has not been a review of this book. As a fan who still loves the game, but despairs of the shallowness of most football literature, I find the lack of response to this book amazing.

Football biographies (auto, or otherwise) are usually appalling. Many of them were never that good in the past, but new depths have been plumbed with the celebrity status of many of today's stars and the general laziness of the modern writer/reporter. I can go into a bookshop and within 60 seconds establish that most football biographies have been merely the result of the writer (Ghost, or otherwise!) taking along a tape recorder and then regurgitating virtually ver batim. Pap, drivel and dross.

This book is the best football biogaphy I have read. Fabulously researched, never sychophantic and just one hell of a good story about a man who excelled at his craft, surmounted unbelievable obstacles, gave people an object lesson in the futility and mindlessness of prejudice and yet was not perfect.

If you can tell me of a more enjoyable football biography, I'd like to hear from you!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By jenny
I urge all Trautmann and football fans to buy this book rather than the recent one written by Catrine Clay. Trautmann: A Biography is an amazing biography in itself, nevermind for that of a footballer. Trautmann has led an amazing life and it's all recorded here. Compared to it's successor, it seems a more personal and heart felt account of the footballer rather than a clinical text book which is essentially what Trautmann's Journey by Catrine Clay is. This book doesn't focus on just one aspect of his life like in the other book, but goes through his life from his time in the Hitler Youth, as a soldier on the Eastern Front, as a hot tempered POW with a love for football, as FA Cup legend, right up to the present where he is trying to develope Anglo-German relations through setting up the Trautmann Foundation. This account doesn't contain certain details compared to the other account, such as him stumbling across a massacre of Jews (which he was still not comfortable discussing at the time this was written), but this book is by far the more accurate and you really come out of it feeling like you personally know Bert. My favourite part of the book was about the Friar family, who Bert would eventually mary into, which gives us great insight to a post war English family in the north. This account is also not afraid to paint Bert as a bit of a brute at times, yet it is still easy to love and admire him. If you are struggling to decide which book to buy, I heartily recommend this, it is easily the best of the two.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book - reprinted twice since 1990, and easily readable, is bound to appeal to all soccer fans but naturally more those who follow the glories of Manchester City fans being the Roy of the Rovers hero of the Don Revie, Ken Barnes, Roy Paul team who won the 1956 FA Cup final against Birmingham City for the last half an hour with a broken neck.

Unlike many poor biographies on soccer greats they will be surprised how much the tale is indirectly related to the earlier book. It is the story of Bernd Trautmann, a Luftwaffe paratrooper from Bremen who served from 1941-45 both on the Eastern and Western Fronts, and shows many common joys and sorrows, and banter which all low rankers experience in any army regardless of country, ideology or culture. Take the case of when he got drunk and floored his Staff sergeant in Russia. He was sobered up his comrades by dropping him into a pit for 30 minutes where climatic conditions were -30. If such an instant cure could not wake him up what could?

When the German Army was breaking up he was taken prisoner by the Americans in April 1945. He was shipped over to England where he was officially ranked "C", which was the mark of a Nazi, simply because as he was one who had lived in Germany since 1933 he was deemed to be someone who could not know any different. But with the War having ended being a "Nazi" or a "German" slowly came to matter very little in Britain wishing to move forward. It was his footballing skills and not his being German which came to be noticed and appreciated by many local scouts and literally thousands of fans flocking in at the St Helens Town ground where he was keeping goal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. 10 Oct 2013
By xpc1479
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gives a very real insight into the life of Bert Trautmann, from his early life in post WW1 Germany, through until just before his sad passing earlier this year. I would thoroughly recommend it as a very interesting read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a keeper! 20 Jun 2014
By Ruju
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When a work colleague who has no interest in football whatsoever asked me what I was reading (at break time obviously!) and I told him it was Bert Trautmann's biography, he asked who he was. I told him it was the goalkeeper who broke his neck in a cup final and carried on playing - he said he had heard of the incident. We were both born in the 1960s, by the way. It just shows how far the Trautmann legend has travelled.

I soon learned that there was a lot more to Trautmann than breaking his neck. From growing up in tough times in Germany, getting caught up in the Second World War and "taken prisoner" (read the book), before ending up in England and realising that the British weren't so bad after all. The book says a lot about English and German attitudes as well as seeing things from a more personal perspective.

Bert led a life that was often complicated and traumatic, but there is no doubt that some of his misfortunes were down to himself. The reader follows Bert through his playing career, his life after hanging up his gloves and his adventures until his retirement. At the end of the book are quotes from admirers and statistics.

Alan Rowlands is firmly in the Bert Trautmann camp and no doubt other authors might have chosen to make more of some of the big man's shortcomings which are mentioned here, but only briefly. However, Trautmann's status as a Manchester City, goalkeeping, and folklore legend is warranted and secure. His story is fascinating and brought to life by Rowlands in this readable biography.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best goalkeeper
What a really great life story
kept your interest to the end. Would recommend this to anyone . A great read
Published 5 months ago by brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Fascinating life story of one of the most famous Goalkeepers of all time. Worth a read even if you aren't a football fan.
Published 10 months ago by H. Garner
5.0 out of 5 stars RIP to a true legend
If you have ever wondered about who the real Bert Trautmann was, then you need look no further than this book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by BlueCityWolf
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
I first knew of Mr trautmann as i watched a programme on tv and i was amazed at the story and so i bought the kindle book and i will read it at christmas but it is a wonderful... Read more
Published 20 months ago by yvonne just lovely
5.0 out of 5 stars Bert Trautman
I enjoyed reading the Bert Trautman Biography. It showed a different side to a football career.I would certainly recommend this book.
Published on 1 May 2012 by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift
I am able to remember this great character when he did play football and having told my husband about him after his name came up on a quiz prog, I decided to get the book for his... Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2011 by Pajon
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read
Let me make this clear from the outset that I have no real interest in football whatsoever.But this is a good read. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2011 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story badly edited
This is the story of one of the greatest goalkeepers ever. The author takes us not only through Bert's life but also the history that went with it. Read more
Published on 5 May 2011 by Mathsman
4.0 out of 5 stars For the specialist
Most sporting biographies are somehow or other a disappointment, and this is no exception.

Trautmann has been one of my heroes since I was a boy in the fifties, but that... Read more
Published on 10 Dec 2009 by Roman Citizen
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