How did Stanley Matthews play until 50??

Discussion in 'Soccer History' started by Dark Savante, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    OK, I don't know why this has dawned on me today, but right now I'm trying to get my head around it and can't.

    Here is comme's write up on the player:

    I'm trying to comprehend how a 50yr old man can play top flight football in his era? This is not a common thing. In fact, it is unheard of in the English leagues at least (if any of you know of 50yr olds who performed in the top flight league of their country feel free to post)

    Was the constitution of this man super-human :confused:
  2. Seaside Mafia

    Seaside Mafia New Member

    May 29, 2005
    As a Blackpool fan, his autobiography was obviously mandatory reading. In it he talks about his own training/fitness regime at a time when other players just weren't doing this sort of thing. So he was probably a lot fitter than his peers. Having said that, you'd expect that a player like Matthews would come in for some stick and so this would increase his chances of injury. In Jackie Charlton's autobiography he talks about playing against Matthews when he was at Stoke. At one point he grabbed hold of Matthew's shirt to try to stop him. Matthews stopped, dribbled the ball back to Charlton and asked "Why did you do that, son?" To which Charlton replied "Sorry Mr. Matthews", at which point Matthews ran off with the ball again. Maybe players who command this amount of respect in the 40s and early 50s tended not to get so much hammer.
  3. joeboy37

    joeboy37 New Member

    Apr 15, 2006
  4. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    If we limit it to players who were stars and who still made a significant difference at a late age, I think in Argentina you have to look at Charro Moreno playing until he was 44 and Angel Labruna until he was 43. Impressive, but still, not close to Sir Stanley.

    I think in Stanley's case it was a combination of things. He probably had great genes, he took his fitness seriously (at a time most players did not), and his game was to a large extent based on guile, at least from looking at the highlights. That and the fact that was mentioned, that other players respected him too much to hack him? I find that last one hard to believe. Only in England, I guess.
  5. lanman

    lanman BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 30, 2002
    I think most of it has been covered. Mainly due to his fitness regime, but I do think that he also had a great appreciation of his own skills - if you take his early career he was very much a flying winger, but as he got on in years he started to be much more of a footballer - relying almost entirely on his skill rather than what pace he had left.
  6. jcsd

    jcsd Member+

    Jan 27, 2006
    Billy Meredith, also a legendary player, played his last match in the FA Cup semi-final aged 49 years and 245 days in 1924, he's also the oldest player to play in an international (when aged 45).
  7. ChaChaFut

    ChaChaFut Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    The other day I found he's not.
  8. dor02

    dor02 Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    UC Sampdoria
    Nat'l Team:
    1930 World Cup winner, Hector Scarone from Uruguay, played for Palermo in Italy when he was 55. Stanley Matthews would have played in more matches per season anyway.
  9. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    It is just an educational guess. May be the WW II had something to do with it. The war stopped the developement of a whole generation of players. The numbers of players emerged in the 1950s were not as good. :rolleyes:
  10. lanman

    lanman BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 30, 2002
    Thinking about it, WWII probably did help Matthews prolong his career. Although he continued to play war-time games the fact that he missed out on 6 years of full blown wear and tear combined with his approach to personal fitness may well have had an effect.
  11. PsychedelicCeltic

    PsychedelicCeltic New Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    San Francisco/London
    I guess, since so many people died in the war. But Matthews played until 1965. By the end of it, he was playing against players who couldn't even remember the war. And the 1950s Hungarians were one of the greatest teams ever.
    It probably didn't hurt.
  12. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Stanley Matthews played first division football until he was 50

    I could play first division football when I'm 50.

    no you couldn't.

    you're right, it's the smoking.

    it's not the smoking, its the crapness
  13. Voodudejnr

    Voodudejnr New Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Thought he was 55
  14. Ted D

    Ted D New Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    W Hartford, CT
    That's wild. FIFTY years old and playing at the highest level. Good for him.
  15. PsychedelicCeltic

    PsychedelicCeltic New Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    San Francisco/London
    Fifty years old and a very GOOD player at the highest level.

    I just read recently Matthews was a vegetarian and didn't drink, which explains a lot. I know a fella on my rugby team who is 45 and plays like he's about 26 - same eating/drinking habits...
  16. nikolaos1981

    nikolaos1981 New Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    Costacurta played last night in a CL qualification match in the age of 40 ! ! ! !
  17. Bertje

    Bertje New Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    Yeah, but who knows what they serve instead of orangejuice in that Milan lab? ;)

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