Player Profiles- Stanley Matthews

Discussion in 'England' started by comme, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003

    Born: 1 February 1915 in Hanley (County Staffordshire).

    Died: 23 February 2000 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme (County Staffordshire).

    Nickname: The Wizard of Dribble.

    Position: Outside right.

    England 52 (1934-1957) / 11 goals

    League Games:
    England I. Division 635 (1933-1941 & 1946-1965) / 67 goals
    England II. Division 66 (1931-1933 & 1961-1963) / 4 goals

    European Cup Games:

    Domestic Cup Games:
    FA Cup 86 (1932-1964) / 7 goals

    European Footballer of the Year: 1956 (winner)

    English Footballer of the Year: 1948, 1963

    Trophies & Tournaments:
    World Cup participant: 1950, 1954
    British Champion: 1935, 1938, 1939, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
    English Champion: -
    English runner-up: -
    English Cup winner: 1953
    English Cup finalist: 1951

    Top League Goal Scorer: never.

    Stanley Matthews was born in Hanley, Staffordshire on February 1 1915 and went on to be one of the greatest players Britain has ever produced. At the age of 15 he joined the ground staff of his local club Stoke City and made his first team debut two years later in a 1-0 win away at Bury. In the 1932-3 season Stoke won second division gaining the young Matthews his first chance at England’s highest domestic level.

    On the 29th of September Matthews made his first appearance for England in a 4-0 win away in Cardiff against Wales. Matthews and Stoke enjoyed a couple of seasons floating around in mid-table before finishing 4th in 1935-6. The next season though Matthews requested a transfer away from Stoke, but such was the unhappiness of many fans and local businesses that the board were forced to resolve the situation and Matthews stayed put. During the war Matthews served with the RAF, but like most top footballers was kept out of the real danger and continued to play football, including 30 games for England which have not been recognised as full internationals. This was a cruel blow for Matthews as he missed 6 crucial year of football, the years at which most footballers are considered to peak.

    When the league re-started in 1946-7 Matthews again wanted to move away from Stoke due to constant friction between himself and manager Bob McGrory who many viewed as being jealous of Matthews’ abundant talents. Matthews was this time allowed to join Blackpool for £11,000 and without him Stoke closely missed out on the title, with him they might well have been victorious.
    In 1948 Matthews appeared in his first FA Cup final for Blackpool. The game was against Manchester United and while Blackpool led 2-1 with just 20 minutes to play they couldn’t hold on and were easily beaten 4-2. Matthews efforts though were not missed and he was named the first ever footballer of the year in England for the 1947-8 season.

    In 1950 England set off to Brazil for their first ever World Cup. England had not accepted the previous invitations to participate and the team set out with the pride and hoped of an expectant nation resting on their shoulders. The team was stellar boasting such talents as Wright, Finney, Mannion and Mortensen in addition to Matthews. They started well and beat Chile 2-0 in the opening encounter before losing 1-0 to the USA in one of the most shocking games in the history of the World Cup. Although Matthews missed the first two games, he returned for the clash with Spain. It was to make no difference as Spain emerged the 1-0 victors thanks to a goal by Zarra. It was a bitter disappointment to England. While they had not participated in the previous World Cups most at home still considered them the best side in the world and had expected a great deal more than a first round exit.
    In 1951 Blackpool again reached the FA Cup final, but again they were disappointed. This time they lost 2-0 to Newcastle.

    However, in 1953 Matthews was to finally get the silverware he craved, Blackpool again reached the FA Cup final and this time faced Bolton. Bolton trailed 3-1 going in to the closing stages of the game, before Matthews hit his stride. Matthews laid on two goals for Stan Mortensen before another mazy dribble created a great chance for Bill Perry to score a dramatic last minute winner. Mortensen had scored a hat-trick but there was no doubt who the star of the show was- Matthews. It was his finest hour and it came to be known as “The Matthews Final”. He was the ripe old age of 38.

    In November of the same year English football was rocked to it’s very foundations by a game that has since been viewed as the match of the century and the game which marked a major power shift away from Britain. It was of course England v. Hungary at Wembley. Matthews played in the game but, as with all the England players, was overshadowed by the Magical Magyars who won the game 6-3.

    The next year Matthews and England travelled to Switzerland to attempt to improve on their performance at the last World Cup. Matthews played in the opener, a 4-4 draw with Belgium, but missed the draw with the Swiss. In the quarter finals England were drawn to play the defending champions Uruguay who had not lost a game in the history of the World Cup finals. It was a tough game in which Uruguay emerged as winners 4-2 and Matthews World Cup ambitions were over again.
    In 1955 Matthews played in a game against Scotland considered by some to be his finest. At Wembley, England thrashed the auld enemy 7-2 and Matthews made all 7 goals.

    The following year, England faced Brazil at Wembley and beat them 4-2, Matthews made 3 goals and tortured the Brazilian fullback Nilton Santos. They then travelled to Berlin to face the World Champions Germany and beat them convincingly 3-1. In 1956 Matthews also received the great honour of being the inaugural European Player of the Year. The next year Matthews played his last ever game for England a 4-1 victory away at Denmark, it had been a glittering international career.

    In 1961 Matthews returned to Stoke in a deal worth £3,500. The impact was immediate as in Matthews’ first game gates sprang from 8,000 to 35,000 and Matthews went on to more than earn the club back the money they had spent on him. Matthews return to Stoke coincided with the visit of Huddersfield and offered Matthews the chance to face up against England full-back Ray Wilson. As he had done to so many defenders before, Matthews made Wilson’s life a misery and made all the goals in a 3-0 victory.
    In the 1962-3 season Stoke won the second division, a remarkable 30 years after Matthews had first achieved the feat at the club. At the age of 48 Matthews managed to play in 35 of Stoke’s league games, and scored a crucial goal in the last game of the season to secure promotion to the top flight. Matthews was named footballer of the year for a second time, a feat that only Tom Finney and Danny Blanchflower had achieved before him.

    In 1965 Matthews played his last ever league game for Stoke at the age of 50, he was the oldest man ever to play in the first division and his record stands to this day. In April 1965 Stoke faced an international XI including Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Josef Masopust and Lev Yashin in honour of Matthews. Later that year Matthews became the first ever footballer to be knighted by the Queen, it was no more than he deserved.
    Matthews died on the 23rd February 2000.

    Stanley Matthews stands amongst the game’s greatest ever figures both for his brilliance and his longevity. Only a man of true drive and determination could manage to stay at the top of the game for over 30 years and his dedication illustrates a real love for the game. His genius made him one of the best loved and most admired men ever to play the game, and his dazzling wingplay inspired generations of top footballers.

    League Statistics per Season

    Season - Club - Games – Goals – [Caps / Goals]

    1931/32 Stoke City FC...............II. Division
    1932/33 Stoke City FC...............II. Division
    1933/34 Stoke City FC...............29 / 11
    1934/35 Stoke City FC...............36 / 10 [ 2 / 1 ]
    1935/36 Stoke City FC...............40 / 10 [ 1 / 0 ]
    1936/37 Stoke City FC...............40 / 07 [ 1 / 0 ]
    1937/38 Stoke City FC...............38 / 06 [ 6 / 5 ]
    1938/39 Stoke City FC...............36 / 02 [ 6 / 2 ]
    1939/40 Stoke City FC...............03 / 00
    1945/46 Stoke City FC...............00 / 00 [ 3 / 0 ]
    1946/47 Stoke City FC...............23 / 04 [ 3 / 1 ]
    1947/48 Blackpool FC.................33 / 01 [ 4 / 0 ]
    1948/49 Blackpool FC.................25 / 03 [ 5 / 1 ]
    1949/50 Blackpool FC.................31 / 00 [ 1 / 0 ]
    1950/51 Blackpool FC.................36 / 00 [ 2 / 0 ]
    1951/52 Blackpool FC.................18 / 01 [ 0 / 0 ]
    1952/53 Blackpool FC.................20 / 04 [ 0 / 0 ]
    1953/54 Blackpool FC.................30 / 02 [ 4 / 0 ]
    1954/55 Blackpool FC.................34 / 01 [ 7 / 0 ]
    1955/56 Blackpool FC.................37 / 03 [ 7 / 1 ]
    1956/57 Blackpool FC.................25 / 02
    1957/58 Blackpool FC.................28 / 00
    1958/59 Blackpool FC.................19 / 00
    1959/60 Blackpool FC.................15 / 00
    1960/61 Blackpool FC.................27 / 00
    1961/62 Blackpool FC.................02 / 00
    1961/62 Stoke City FC...............II. Division
    1962/63 Stoke City FC...............II. Division
    1963/64 Stoke City FC...............09 / 00
    1964/65 Stoke City FC...............01 / 00
  2. The Potter

    The Potter Member+

    Aug 26, 2004
    Stoke City FC
    Nat'l Team:
  3. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
  4. blackpool fc mark

    blackpool fc mark New Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    As a Blackpool fan i can appreciate more than anyone what a great sporting talent he was, bringing success and glory to a small town like Blackpool that has not been rivalled since, I still beem with pride when pointing out a Blackpool player won European player of the year, a true class act
  5. Danson's Magic Hands

    Danson's Magic Hands Big Soccer Deviant +

    Oct 22, 2004
    location location
    Now do one for John Salako.

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