21 July 2013

Tanzania: TFF Mourns Former Taifa Stars Coach Trautmann

THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has received with shock news on the death of former Taifa Stars coach, Bert Trautmann (89), who died in Spain on Friday.

In a statement released by the TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura, the federation described the German as among the best coaches to have trained Taifa Stars.

Wambura said Trautmann, a former German Prisoner of War who became a footballer in England and famously broke his neck playing in goal for Manchester City in the 1956 FA Cup final, will be remembered for his contribution in development of football in Tanzania.

He was also an instructor and while in the country he trained a number of local coaches who went ahead to record tremendous success in their coaching career. Trautmann was in charge of Taifa Stars in the 1960s and is also credited to have been behind the introduction of the First Division League in Tanzania.

"The federation and Tanzania football stakeholders in general are mourning the death of the former Taifa Stars coach, whose tremendous contribution to the development of football in the country will never be forgotten," said Wambura.

The federation extended condolence message to the German FA (DFB), his family, Manchester City and the English FA following Trautmann death.

Trautmann also worked in Burma, Pakistan and Yemen where he was employed by the German government on a football-coaching initiative.

The German died on Friday at his home in La Llose, near Valencia and Manchester City - whom he represented from 1949-64 - were quick to give him his due, calling him "a true legend in the true sense of the word and a wonderful ambassador for not only his country, but Manchester City Football Club."

The club added: "Bert will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him and the football world in general." The goalkeeper famously came to England as a prisoner of war, finding his calling between the posts after swapping places with an injured custodian during a friendly game.

Staying in England after the end of the war, he played for St Helen's Town FC and impressed in a friendly against City, who signed him in 1949. Trautmann made his name in the 1956 FA Cup final, playing to the end of a 3-1 win despite suffering what was later diagnosed as a broken neck.

He was to make 545 appearances for City and while he never played for Germany, he was remembered fondly by German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach.

"Bert Trautmann was a great athlete and a true gentleman," he said. "He came to England as a soldier and a prisoner of war, but he became a celebrated hero. His extraordinary career will forever stay in the history books."

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