Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2), which roughly covers the territory of the Greater Manchester Built-up Area, the second most populous urban area in the UK. Though geographically landlocked, it is connected to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which is still open to shipping in Salford and Trafford. Greater Manchester sits within the historic counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire and borders the ceremonial counties of Cheshire (to the south-west and south), Derbyshire (to the south-east), West Yorkshire (to the north-east), Lancashire (to the north) and Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban—the product of concentric urbanisation and industrialisation which occurred mostly during the 19th century when the region flourished as the global centre of the cotton industry. It has a focused central business district, formed by Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs.
However, the club has not won a major honour since 1976. The club's decline led to relegation twice in three years in the 1990s, meaning they spent one year in the third tier of English football. However, the club has since regained top flight status, the level at which they have spent the majority of their history.
Performances for St Helens gained Trautmann a reputation as an able goalkeeper, resulting in interest from Football League clubs. In October 1949 he signed for Manchester City, a club playing in the highest level of football in the country, the First Division. The club's decision to sign a former Axis paratrooper sparked protests, with 20,000 attending a demonstration.
Trautmann continued to play for Manchester City until 1964. After ending his playing career he moved into management. In 2004 he was appointed an honorary OBE for promoting Anglo-German understanding through football.