Stanley Matthews
01.02.1915 - 23.02.2000
Nickname: The Wizard of the Dribble, The Magician
Nationality: England
Stature: 175 см
Position: forward
Number: 7

1932 - 1947England EnglandStoke City26251
1947 - 1961England EnglandBlackpool38017
1961 - 1965England EnglandStoke City593
1970 Malta MaltaHibernians21
All:Gols in match: 0.170372
Years performancesNational teamGamesGols
1929 England England (up to 16)10
1934 - 1956England Football League XI132
1934 - 1957England England5411
1947 - 1955Great Britain Great Britain20
All:Gols in match: 0.197013

He was born in Hanley in a family of a barber and a lightweight boxer Jack Matthews. Stanley was the third of his four sons. Father taught Stanley to respect the sport mode, this allowed Matthews Jr. to be a professional footballer for a long time. Since childhood, he showed a high ability in sports as well as original desire of the father was to make his son a boxer. But Stanley followed only one dream - to be a footballer. In 1995, Sir Stan in the interview with BBC Radio 5 Live said:

"I used to love getting a little ball and playing with it. I even used to go to the butcher's shop and get a pig's bladder, blow it up and play with that. Many a time I played at night when it was dark using a lamppost with the light on. I used to enjoy it.

Jack told his son:

You will become a good football player only if you get to an England team at school age.

Stanley followed his father’s advice and in 13 years, that is long before the school graduation, was enrolled in the England school team in the match against their peers from Wales. After this match, a club «Stoke City” noticed him. He became a clerk immediately after graduation.

When he was 17, he began to play in the main team (signed a contract in 1932). After two seasons 19-year-old Stanley made his debut in England team, and even though he scored the goal that earned the lowest scores: as a young player didn’t have qualities of a fighter. When he was 20, Stanley married with the daughter of his coach - Jimmy Uollensa. Then they opened a store together.

But the boy grew up and in 1937 he declared himself as a high-profile footballer. He scored three goals in a friendly match with the national team of Czechoslovakia.

In 1938, Stoke finished the regular season on the 17th place. Looking for a team able to win the titles, Matthews asked for a transfer to a stronger club. This caused an outcry of the “Stoke City" fans. The whole town asked him to stay. Fans staged a rally near the team headquarters, there were about three thousand people. Therefore, under their pressure, Stanley changed his mind.


In May 1938, Matthews went to the English national team on European tour. The first match was to be held in the German capital Berlin against the German team. Adolf Hitler wanted to use the game for their own purposes - to promote the Nazi government. During the preparation of the English players for the game in the locker room, the representative of the Football Association of England came back and said that they should salute raise your right arm up when the national anthem will be played in Germany. Matthews later recalled:

The dressing room erupted. There was bedlam. All the England players were livid and totally opposed to this, myself included. Everyone was shouting at once. Eddie Hapgood, normally a respectful and devoted captain, wagged his finger at the official and told him what he could do with the Nazi salute, which involved putting it where the sun doesn't shine.

A representative walked out of the locker room, but five minutes later he returned and said that it was an order from Sir Neville Henderson, the British ambassador in Berlin. The players were told said that the political situation between England and Germany is now so difficult and stressful that "any spark capable of igniting a fire in Europe" In result, the English team reluctantly agreed to comply with Hitler's demands.

Stanley Matthews 1938
Welcomed Hitler (1938)

110 thousand people were then at the stadium in Berlin. Among them were politicians like Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels. The English won 6-3. One of the goals scored Len Gould, this is the goal of Matthews later described as

the greatest goal I ever saw in football. Len met the ball on the run; without surrendering any pace, his left leg cocked back like the trigger of a gun, snapped forward and he met the ball full face on the volley. To use modern parlance, his shot was like an Exocet missile. The German goalkeeper may well have seen it coming, but he could do absolutely nothing about it. From 25 yards the ball screamed into the roof of the net with such power that the netting was ripped from two of the pegs by which it was tied to the crossbar.
Stanley Matthews 1938
Staff "Stoke City" with braziers on the football field tries to melt permafrost.
Stanley Matthews warms his hands by the fire (22 December 1938)

September 1, 1939, Hitler attacked Poland. Two days later, Neville Chamberlain declared war against Germany. During the Second World War, the business was forced to close, and Matthews joined the ranks of the Royal Air Force, served under Blackpool. But this did not prevent him to spend 29 informal soccer games, scoring 2 goals for England and take part in 1943 in the defeat of the Scots (8:1) in Manchester.

He also participated in the regional league matches, at the invitation of the club: "Arsenal", "Crewe Alexandra", "Manchester United", "Rangers", "Wrexham" "Greenock Morton", "Stenhousemuir" and "Blackpool".


Manual "Stoke" decided that after as many as eight years without any real match practice to a magician does not return the old game form ... May 10, 1947 for 11,500 pounds Matthews was sold in Blackpool. A fairly large amount of money for a man who was already 32 years. But Blackpool manager Joe Smith was very pleased with this purchase, and did not regret the money spent.

September 22, 1947, returning to the ship from Brussels, where the England team beat the national team of Belgium 5: 2, Charlie Buchan (the same Buchan, who in the mid 20's became the captain of Arsenal, when there came to Chapman), Roy Peskett, Archie Quick and Mr. Coles, agreed to establish a football Writers' Association. Soon the idea was implemented and was established prize for the best player of the year, and today is considered one of the most prestigious in the UK. Best player choose only the journalists - members of the association by voting. In his first season after the resumption of a career in the first voting member of the Association Matthews was named the best player in England.

Along with the speakers for "Blackpool" central striker Stan Mortensen, it was a shock duo team terrifies the opponents defense. Technically Matthews thanks to the high personal mastery broke up the attack, and Mortensen completing them. Coach Joe Smith said Matthews:

A lot of people think I'm mad, but even though you're 37, I believe your best football is still to come.

Press cheated veteran off whenever he got injured or not demonstrated a brilliant game. Nevertheless, whenever Matthews cured wounds and proved that age is no indicator for it.

FINAL Stanley Matthews

In 1953, the FA Cup final Matthews won his greatest victory. Rival team Matthews in the final was Bolton. 20 minutes before the end of the match Blackpool lost 1: 3, and then took the floor "magician". Matthews organized several breakthroughs in the penalty area, "Bolton" and canopies at high Stan Mortensen, who for the last Twenty minutes could make a hat-trick. This match will go down in history as the "Stanley Matthews Final".

Stanley Matthews 1953
Matthews boots from the final at Preston Museum

On that day, the crowd carried him off the field on his hands. The only time he was noticed drink, happened after this victory, when football took a sip of champagne from a winning packaging. He had the physical condition of the human future - in training run in boots with plumbum to during the game feel lightness in the legs.

Stanley Matthews 1953
Cup of England (1953)


Stanley has only one match, which he played at the world championships. In 1950, the 35-year-old striker took part in a game against Spain, which England lost - 0: 1. 54 times he took to the field in the form of the England team and scored 11 goals.

Matthews is the holder of the record for the number of years during which he was called to the team in England. The first game of the Magician took place on September 29, 1934, and the last match for the national team was played on May 15, 1957 - after almost 23 years! At the time of the farewell game for the national team, Stanley was 42 years and 102 days, which is considered a British record.


Having exchanged the fifth dozen, Matthews retained a brilliant form. Shortly before his 42nd birthday, he received the first ever publication of the Golden Ball, French Football. Gabrielle Hano - then editor-in-chief of France Football Matthews compared to Charlie Chaplin, stating that Stanley is endowed with the gift of an "all-powerful clown." This player’s confrontation with rivals invariably resembles a farce, in which the opponents of Matthews are certainly fools.

In 1961, when he was already 46 years old, he decided to go to his first Stoke City club, which spent 4 more seasons. Matthews speaks about the level of the game in those years, including the fact that he was repeatedly recognized in the England team in 1963, despite the fact that the team played in the second division in strength, becoming its champion. Stanley played his last match in professional football on February 6, 1965 - five days after the 50th anniversary. And before that, Matthews missed a year due to a knee injury. Fans gathered at the stadium expect the Superveteran field to be purely symbolic. Instead, they saw a great game played by their idol and scored a goal that day: “Stoke City” lost to “Fulham” - 1: 3. After the final whistle, Matthews joked:

Looks like I'm leaving football too early.

In the same year, Matthews finished his career, saying goodbye to football on home stadium Stoke City "Victoria Ground." In his farewell match was attended by such stars of world football as Di Stefano, Masopust, Puskas and Yashin. Queen Elizabeth II granted him then knighted, which was at first assigned to the footballer.

When we met with Yashin in London, he gave me the Tula samovar in day of my fiftieth anniversary, which now stands in the living room of my house in plain view, recalling the most sacred values of our lives. From samovar comes warm memories. Again I see the packed stadium, I see rage attacks, see Yashin in gate. And then I think that life is not lived in vain. I firmly believe in the immortality of the football - the most beautiful game on earth.
Stanley Matthews 1965
Farewell match, in the hands of Yashin and Ferenc Puskas (1965)


After the game career Stanley Matthews in July 1965 was appointed general manager of the club "Port Vale" rival "Stoke" working side by side with Jackie Moody. In 1967, during a tour with the "Port Vale" by Czechoslovakia footballer met with Mila, who worked as a translator for the team. Still married Mathews was convinced that he had found the love of his life and decided to get a divorce from Betty. He lived with Mila until her death in 1999. After that, according to Scott Woods, Matthews was helping to write an autobiography, "it was no longer like before."

After the resignation of Jackie, Matthews received a full management control, but could not bring glory to Port Vale. Club was fined to £ 4,000 in 1968 was expelled from the Football League for financial irregularities. Keep rolling in May 1968 in spite of the arrears of wages to 9,000 pounds, he agreed to stay at Port Vale.


Matthews died on February 23, 2000, at the age of 85, after an illness during a vacation in Tenerife. Great football player was honoured with Memory minute of silence at the stadium "Wembley" on the day of friendly match between England and Argentina. He was cremated after goodbyes in Stoke March 3, 2000. His funeral was attended by many of his friends colleagues players - Bobby Charlton, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney. His ashes were buried in the center circle of the stadium "Britain", which plays "Stoke City".

Stanley Matthews

Immediately after the death of one of the greatest players in the history of Great Britain, Stanley Matthews, sculptors began to work on the monument. Name Stanley Matthews known each Briton, from an infant to an old man. As one of the authors of the monument Karl Payne, they decided to make a statue as close as possible to the prototype, and even used real boots Sir Stanley. The monument is called "The Evolution Of Sir Stan As The Wizard Of Dribble" and is a three player figures, going to the dribbling. The authors investigated the materials and as a result, even the strings on the Stanley Matthews form are fully consistent with the original. It is installed in front of the Stoke City stadium, in which the player began and ended his career.

Monument of Stanley Matthews 2000

Paying tribute to Sir Stanley Matthews and his influence on the development of football in general and the role of winger, Pele said about Matthews:

He taught us to play football.

Goalkeeper Gordon Banks said:

For me this man probably had the greatest name of any player ever, certainly in Britain. I don't think anyone since had a name so synonymous with football in England.

Based on:,,,,,,

Award nameYearAmount
1 Football Player of the Year by the Football Journalists Association 1948, 1963 2
2 Golden Ball 1956 1

Club "Blackpool"
Award nameYearAmount
1 FA Cup 1953 1