Bert Trautmann played professional football as a goalkeeper for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964. Trautmann joined the Luftwaffe early in the war and served as a paratrooper. He fought on the Eastern Front for 3 years, earning 5 medals, including an Iron Cross. Later in the war, he was transferred to the Western Front where he was captured by British forces as the war drew to a close. He was one of only 90 of his original 1,000-man regiment to survive the war. He was transferred to a POW camp in Lancashire and settled there following his release in 1948, combining farm work with playing for local football team St Helens Town. His talent as a world class goalkeeper resulted in interest from nearby Manchester City, a club playing the highest level of football in the country. He signed for the club in October 1949, which sparked a demonstration from 20,000 protesting fans. Over time, however, he became one of their best loved players.