Biography of Stanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews was a famous twentieth century footballer.

When and Where was he Born?

1st February 1915, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Family Background:

Stanley Matthews was one of four brothers. Son of Jack Matthews a barber and boxer known as “The Fighting Barber of Hanley”.


Wellington Road School, Hanley.

Timeline of Sir Stanley Matthews:

1931: Matthews began playing for his local Club Stoke City as a winger aged 17. He had previously worked in the office, such was his enthusiasm for the club.

1934: He played against Italy in the infamous “Battle of Highbury” and was written of as not having the “big match temperament”. He marries Betty Vallance.

1935: First picked for England.

1937: He played for England at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground against Czechoslovakia and scored a hat trick as England won 5-4 and were reduced to ten men.

1939: Stanley Matthews played in the Berlin Olympic Stadium where England were forced to give the Nazi Salute at the beginning of the game. Matthews was outstanding and helped the team to win 6-3.

1940: He and his wife Betty opened a small hotel in Blackpool and he played as a guest for Blackpool many times during the Second World War.

1946: Matthews was dropped from the Stoke City team in favour of the young George Mountfords. He was dropped from the England Team in favour of Tom Finney but later in the season was brought back to play Portugal in Lisbon where England won 10-0.

1947: He was transferred to Blackpool for the sum of £11,500.

1948: Matthews is voted Footballer of the Year. Blackpool lost 4-2 to Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

1951: Two goals by “Whor” Jackie Milburn helped Newcastle United lift the FA Cup from Blackpool 2-0.

1953: He won an FA Cup winners medal at last, playing against Bolton Wanderers. This game has gone down in history as the Matthews final.

1954: Matthews was moved to the Inside Right position to play Switzerland and helped it England to a 4-4 draw.

1956: He becomes the first ever European Footballer of the Year.

1961: He ended his career with Blackpool and returned to to play for Stoke City, aged 46.

1963: He is voted Footballer of the Year as he helped Stoke City get promoted to the First Division.

1965: Matthews is Knighted. HJe went on to manage Port Vale.

1968: Death of his first wife. He then marries Mila Winters, a cultural assistant in the U.S. Embassy, London.

1970: He moves to Malta where he played for the Hibernians team aged 55. He took up coaching appointments in South Africa and Canada.

1990: Stanley Matthews becomes President of Stoke City Football Club.

1999: Death of his second wife.

When and Where did he Die?

23rd February 2000, Hanley, Staffordshire, England.

Age at Death:



1. 1934 To Betty Vallance (died 1968).
2. 1968 to Mila Winters a cultural assistant in the U.S. Embassy, London. (died 1999)

Site of Grave:

Ashes interred under the pitch at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.

Places of Interest:


National Football Museum, Deepdale Stadium, Preston.


Stoke City Football Club, Britannia Stadium.