Stanley Matthews

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Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE (1 February 1915 – 23 February 2000) was an English footballer. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards. Matthews' nicknames included The Wizard of the Dribble and The Magician. A vegetarian teetotaller, he kept fit enough to play at the top level until he was 50 years old. He was also the oldest player ever to play in England's top football division and the oldest player ever to represent the country. He played his final competitive game in 1985, at the age of 70. Matthews was also an inaugural inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 to honour his contribution to the English game.[1]

Contents

Playing career

Stoke City

A natural outside right showing early promise, Matthews played for England Schoolboys against Wales and left Stoke St. Peter's to sign professional forms with Stoke City in 1932. His international debut came in 1934, scoring for an England side that beat Wales 4–0. Matthews also played in the famous Battle of Highbury where England defeated the World Champions Italy 3–2 with a brace from Eric Brook and one goal from Ted Drake. Matthews later recollected that this was the most violent match that he had been involved in with Brook suffering a broken arm and Drake acquiring two black eyes.[2] Shortly after this, Matthews was condemned in the Daily Mail:

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