Stanley Matthews began his enduring England career on this day.
Three Lions legend Stanley Matthews made his international debut on this day in 1934.
The ‘Wizard of Dribble’ was just 19 years old when he was selected to face Wales in the Home Championship tie at Ninian Park, Cardiff, but the occasion certainly didn’t overwhelm the youngster
After Fred Tilson and Eric Brook had given England a comfortable two-goal cushion within half-an-hour, Matthews found his international feet and was on hand to extend that lead in the 84th minute. Tilson then grabbed his second and England’s fourth just a minute later to give the Three Lions a comprehensive victory.
For Matthews it was an auspicious start to an outstanding international career that would go on to span 22 years and see him become one of the most recognised and revered players in the game’s history.
Playing in the 1950 and 1954 World Cups, Sir Stan’s last England appearance came in 1957, in a World Cup Qualifier against Demark, at the ripe old age of 42 years 102 days.
He finished with 54 caps and eleven goals but, perhaps even more significantly, with universal praise and admiration for his ability and approach to the game that he loved. Sir Stan’s Stats - Click here for his full England profile
54 International Caps
11 International Goals
1 FA Cup (Blackpool 1953)
2 Football League Second Division titles (Stoke 1933 & 1963)
2 FWA Footballer of the Year Awards (1948 & 1963)
1 European Footballer of the Year (1956)
Awarded CBE (1957)
Awarded Knighthood (1965)
Awarded FIFA Gold Medal Order (1992)
Entered into the English Football Hall of Fame (2002)Sir Stan wasn't just a England legend, he was also an FA Cup hero. Click here to read about his exploits in the game's greatest cup competition.