The legend Sir Stanley Matthews born 100 years ago

Sunday 01 Feb 2015
Sir Stanley Matthews was born one hundred years ago, on 1 February 1915
Stanley Matthews – or Sir Stanley, because he was the first footballer to be knighted – was born in Hanley on this day a hundred years ago. 

‘Stan’, as he liked to be called, was English football’s first superstar of the television age. Even people with no interest in football knew all about him. 

Sir Stanley Matthews

Clubs: Stoke City, Blackpool
Date of Birth: 1 February 1915
Place of Birth: Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
England Caps: 54
England Goals: 11

He was a right-winger with dazzling skills who played for Stoke City before the war and for Blackpool and Stoke (again) after it. He featured in more than 700 League matches and was still turning out when he was 50! 

Matthews played in 54 peacetime internationals for England, making his debut in 1934 when he was still a teenager. He still holds the major England records for age (42 years 103 days) and length of career (22 years 228 days). 

He played in the World Cups of 1950 and 1954. This genuine – but modest – sporting hero is probably best remembered for his exploits in The FA Cup. 

He was on the losing side with Blackpool in the 1948 and 1951 Finals but was back at Wembley with the same club two years later. 

Sir Stanley Matthews

'Sir Stan' in his Blackpool days

Stan was then 38 years old and the whole world crossed its fingers as he strove for the third (and perhaps the last?) time to gain that precious winners’ medal. 

Blackpool were 3-1 down to Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers before Stan stepped forward to dominate the green stage. He laid on Blackpool’s last-gasp winner at 4-3 as our new Queen watched from the Royal Box. 

Arguably England’s greatest footballer passed away on the day of an England match in 2000. We remember a football genius today.

Sir Stanley Matthews

'Thank You Stan' A film tribute to the Maestro

BAFTA-award winning director Tony White has created a very special 'thank you' to Stan in an original four-minute animated film inspired by the book 'Stanley Matthews: 'The Black Man with a White Face' by Geoff Francis.

The tribute is voiced by Stoke-On-Trent North MP, Joan Walley, who is a Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Football Committee. Joan knew Stan well in his final years and shared a passion for football in the Potteries.

Also featured in the film are the voices of Desmond Tutu and the shy maestro, Stan, himself.

Watch a short teaser version of the film below, or to find out more about the full version click here.

By FA Staff