St Helens Town featured in new film

Tue 19th March 2019 | St Helens Town
By Ian Templeman

St Helens Town Chairman Glyn Jones was featured in interviews filmed last week in connection with the launch of the forthcoming film "The Keeper", which features the life story of Bert Trautmann.

The biographical film details the journey of Bert in his rise from German World War II soldier to English footballing legend.

After being recruited as a soldier, Trautmann was captured by the British in 1944 and held in a prisoner-of-war camp. The kindness of the locals led him to choose to remain in England after the war, where he became a goalkeeper, first for St Helens Town and then for Manchester City.

His signing was originally met with protests from City fans due to his background, but he soon became a favourite and is best known for playing in the winning Manchester City side that lifted the FA Cup in 1956, without realising he had broken his neck during the game.

St Helens Town always kept in contact with Bert up until his death in 2013, and his time at the club is featured on one of the boards displayed at the Arcoframe Stadium.

Now, with the film of his life about to be released, Glyn has had the opportunity to talk about the club's links with a footballing legend.

"The interview I gave to the BBC for The One Show took place after I was invited to the National Football Museum last week", explained Glyn.

"I attended a talk given by Gary James, the Manchester City historian, and the actor John Henshaw, who plays Jack Friar, Bert's father-in-law and Town's coach in the film.

"The One Show feature was aired ahead of the film premiere in Manchester at the Printworks on Thursday night, and then at Cineworld, St. Helens on Friday. The film goes on general release on 6th April".

Glyn and St Helens Town Vice President Jim Barrett were also in front of cameras again on Sunday.

"Jim and I were filmed and interviewed at length at the Arcoframe Stadium by a German film crew", said Glyn.

"They came over from Bremen and spent time in the Manchester City Supporters' Club on Saturday and came to St. Helens on Sunday.

"We were shown the trailer of the film, which looks very interesting.

"Apparently the British scenes were filmed in Ireland for costing reasons but we were told the film concentrates 80% on his life and 20% on football and the town of St. Helens and the Town club in particular are treated very well. We'll just have to wait and see.

"There is still a great deal of pride at St. Helens Town that we were the club which launched Bert's football career and, in return, he helped put the club on the map.  

"Although the original club was founded in 1901, it went out of existence in 1928 and was re-formed in 1946 and began playing again in 1947/48 season.  

"Bert joined at the beginning of the 1948/49 season and by happy coincidence, the town of St. Helens became the first municipal borough in Britain to enter into a partner-town arrangement with a German city, Stuttgart, after the Second World War.

"So Bert's joining St. Helens Town was emblematic of the wider hand of friendship extended between the two countries".

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