FORMER Germany international goalkeeper Bernd Trautmann, who career in English football started at St Helens Town, has died at the age of 89, the German Football Association announced.
Trautmann, known more commonly as Bert, made a name for himself in England with Manchester City after originally arriving as a prisoner of war.
He played more than 500 times for the Citizens between 1949 and 1964 while he was bestowed with an honorary OBE for his work in promoting Anglo-German post-war relations.
Trautmann was an FA Cup winner with City in 1956, playing the final 17 minutes of that game with a broken neck.
After his playing days, he moved into management with Stockport before returning to his native Germany in 1967 to coach Preussen Munster.
He passed away at his home in Spain this morning.
German FA (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach said: “Bert Trautmann was an amazing sportsman and a true gentleman.
“He went to England as a soldier, and thus a war enemy, and he became a celebrated hero there. He was a legend.
“His extraordinary career will remain forever in the history books.”
Trautmann survived two heart attacks this year, but passed away unexpectedly in La Llosa, near Valencia, this morning.
“We were in very close contact since 1996, when he was part of our official delegation when we won the European Championships in England,” continued Niersbach.
“The DFB had invited him to Nuremberg in October, but he turned down the invitation because it was the same time he wanted to celebrate his 90th birthday.
“That makes this news even more surprising.”