It's 15 years since Sir Stanley Matthews passed away

Monday 23 Feb 2015
The Sir Stanley Matthews statue at Stoke's Britannia Stadium
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Sir Stanley Matthews, English football’s first superstar, passed away on this day in 2000 at the age of 85.

This genuine sporting hero will always be remembered for his dazzling wing-play at the 1953 FA Cup Final, when he inspired Blackpool to a 4-3 victory over Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers at Wembley. 

The Two Stanleys: Matthews (left) and Mortensen.

Stanley Matthews (left) with England team-mate Stan Mortebsen

But he also had an England career that was longer than any other player’s, making his debut at 19 and appearing in his last match when he was 42.

The first footballer to be knighted, he scored eleven goals in 54 England matches and was outstanding at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. So it was poignant that the great man should leave us on the day of an England international at Wembley.

England were playing Argentina in a friendly. It finished goalless, the 74,000 crowd having been informed of Sir Stanley’s passing.

Stanley Matthews, ‘the Maestro’, ‘the Wizard of the Dribble’, ‘the Football Genius’.      

By David Barber FA Historian