‘All over the world he is regarded as a true football genius’
Former Manager of Germany
‘He told me that he used to play for just 20 pounds a week. Today he would be worth all the money in the Bank of England’
Assistant Manager, Chelsea F.C.
‘I grew up in an era when he was a god to those who aspired to play the game. He was a true gentleman and we shall never see his like again.’
Two time European Cup Winning Manager
Stanley Matthews was the
Leo Messi of his day.
Winner of the first Ballon D'Or
in 1956, he was twice voted Footballer of the Year, played
54 times for England (scoring
11 goals and tearing Brazil apart
at Wembley in the process), played in two World Cups and was part of the England team which won the British Championship 9 times.
He made 697 appearances for
Stoke City and Blackpool, scored
71 goals and carried on playing
at the top level until he was
50 years of age.
He was knighted in 1965, the
only player to receive a knighthood while still playing professionally.
A lightning-quick winger with fantastic dribbling ability, his presence could add an extra
10,000 supporters to an away
game in which he played and it
was said by Franz Beckenbauer
that the speed and skill Matthews possessed meant that ‘almost no one in the game could stop him’.
On his retirement from playing
Stan had a brief spell in management before turning to coach young players, famously ignoring the South African apartheid regime to found a team
of black players in Soweto, taking them to play in a tournament in Rio.
Stan passed away in 2000 aged 85. As his funeral wound its way through Stoke-on-Trent, 100,000 people lined the streets to pay their respects to one of England's greatest footballing sons.