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Manchester City’s Top Five Goalkeepers

A Look At Some Of The Best Keepers To Wear The Famous Blue And White

Bert Trautmann Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images

Over the years, Manchester City have had some outstanding goalkeepers, and while the selection was difficult, we have narrowed down the best to the five below:

Frank Swift

Frank Swift joined the blues in 1933, with City fighting off competition from Blackpool. Blackburn, and Bradford City. Swift got his chance at Maine Road when first choice Len Langford was injured and his replacement, James Nicholls conceded eight to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Swift replaced Nicholls and, despite conceding four goals on his debut, he kept his first clean sheet the following day.

Swift was part of the team that played in front of an 84,569 crowd at Maine Road when City beat Stoke 1-0 on their way to winning the FA Cup. Swift played in the final against Portsmouth, which City won 2-1. Swift was downbeat at half-time, blaming himself for Portsmouth’s goal as he chose not to wear gloves for the match. The keeper fainted as the final whistle went, as he was so overcome with emotion.

Swift made of 330 appearances for the blues between 1933 and 1949, and after football, he went on to be a sports journalist. Sadly, Frank Swift was one of the victims of the Munich air disaster in February 1958, after reporting on United’s European Cup match at Red Star Belgrade.

Bert Trautmann

Hailed as one of the best keepers to represent Manchester City, Bert Trautmann was actually vilified by supporters to begin with. Trautmann served as a paratrooper in the Luftwaffe during the second world war, and was captured by the British towards the end of the war. Trautmann as moved to a Prisoner of War camp in Ashton-in-Makerfield, and after the war ended, he rejected an offer of repatriation to Germany, instead choosing to settle in Lancashire, where he worked on a farm and played in goal for St Helens.

Trautmann signed for City in 1949, and his signing attracted demonstrations from people angry about the blues signing a former enemy of Britain. A series of good displays eventually won the supporters over, and went on to make over 500 appearances for City.

The big keeper played in both the 1955 and 1956 FA Cup Finals, losing the first to Newcastle, but winning the second against Birmingham. The latter match saw Trautmann dive bravely at the feet of Peter Murphy and was knocked out. Trautmann continued the match but his neck was causing him pain, however he made some vital saves towards the end of the match to ensure City won 3-1. It was only after the match that Trautmann discovered he had broken his neck in the challenge and had played on without that knowledge.

Despite his war past, Trautmann was awarded an honorary OBE in 2004 for promoting Anglo-German understanding through football.

Trautmann died in July 2013 at the ripe old age of 89.

Joe Corrigan

Big Joe Corrigan joined City at the start of the Golden Era at Maine Road in 1966 as a youth player and made his debut for City in 1967, but didn’t establish himself in the team until 1969m with Harry Dowd being the first choice keeper. Corrigan was part of the team that won the League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup in 1970 and also won the League Cup in 1976.

Corrigan made his England debut in 1976 against Italy and won 9 caps for the England side. Sadly for Corrigan, he came up against tough competition for the England number one slot in the form of Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton.

Corrigan made almost 600 apperances for City, including the 1981 FA Cup final, in which he was named man of the match and won the supporters Player of the Year three times. Corrigan spent 16 years at Maine Road before moving to Seattle Sounders for £30,000 and is remembered as one of the best ever keepers to play for the blues.

Tony Coton

Probably the best goalkeeper never to play for England, Tony Coton was brought to Maine Road by Howard Kendall, when City paid Watford just under £1m for his services, becoming one of the most expensive goalkeepers in the country.

Coton quickly established himself as a fan favourite, making a series of stunning performances, which helped City finish fifth in the First Division during his first two season. Coton remained as first choice keeper after Kendall left, under new managers Peter Reid and Brian Horton, however the big keeper moved across Manchester in 1995 when he joined United for £500,000.

Coton was famously sent off in a match against Derby County, when he fell foul of the new ‘straight red’ offence, when he was deemed to have deliberately brought down Dean Saunders with City leading 1-0. In a time where there were no substitute keepers, his replacement, Niall Quinn, donned the keepers shirt and saved the resulting penalty.

Joe Hart

Joe Hart started his goalkeeping career at Shrewsbury Town, making his debut a day after his 17th birthday. He stepped up to the first team for the 2005/06 season and his performances attracted scouting eyes from the Premier League, with City amongst the potential suitors. He moved to City in 2006 for a fee of around £600,000, rising to £1.5m depending on appearances. Hart kept a clean sheet on his debut, a goalless draw against Sheffield United.

Hart spent time out on loan, but in 2007, manager Sven Goran-Erikssen made him first choice keeper, however he lost that position when the blues signed Shay Given from Newcastle in 2009 under Mark Hughes and the keeper went on loan to Birmingham.

However, new boss Roberto Mancini reinstated Hart to the starting line-up in August 2010 in which the keeper gave a man of the match performance, keeping out Spurs and securing a goalless draw for the blues. Hart was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2011, the Premier League in 2012 and 2014 and the League Cup in 2014 and 2016. Hart made his England debut in 2008 and went on to stablish himself as the national side’s number one, winning 75 caps.

Hart left the cub when new manager Pep Guardiola changed the style in which he wanted keepers to play and Hart clearly did not fit that new criteria, and after various loans, Hart is now with Premier League rivals Burnley.