Bert Trautmann commands his penalty area during a charity game in Buncrana.

Bert Trautmann in action at Maginn Park, Buncrana, in June 1964.
Bert Trautmann in action at Maginn Park, Buncrana, in June 1964.
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It was on a warm summer’s day 49 years ago that one of the true legends of European football made a surprise visit to the North West.

Bernhard Carl “Bert” Trautmann, of Manchester City fame, arrived in the Inishowen seaside town of Buncrana in June 1964 to take part in a charity football match.

Thousands crammed into Maginn Park to see the big German captain one of the “celebrity” sides taking part in the game.

When Bert Trautmann arrived at Maine Road in 1949, 20,000 protested against his signing. By the time he left in 1964, he was lauded as the bravest man in British sport.

Trautmann joined the Luftwaffe early in the Second World War, serving as a paratrooper. He fought on the Eastern Front for three years, earning five medals, including an Iron Cross.

He signed for Manchester City in 1949 and entered football folklore with his performance in the 1956 FA Cup Final, playing the final 17 minutes of the game with a broken neck. He eventually played more than 500 games for City.