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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 00:18 GMT
Motson's boyhood memories of Matthews

Sir Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley Matthews: Put 10,000 on the crowd


Sir Stanley Matthews will be remembered as the classic winger, according to BBC football commentator John Motson.

He remembers Sir Stanley's fame from a very young age.

"When I was growing up in Lewisham he was undoubtedly the most famous footballer in the country.


He was a legendary figure
BBC commentator John Motson
"As a boy whenever Blackpool played in London you queued for ages just to say you had seen Stanley Matthews play.

"He put 10,000 people on the crowd.

"Sir Stanley visited a local department store on the morning of the game against Charlton Athletic in the 1950s.

"He sat at a table in the store and we all queued up for his autograph.

"I remember being very shy and just said 'Thank you very much'.

"He will be remembered as the classic winger. He had incredible pace over the first five yards which they say he developed training on Blackpool beach.

'Fairytale'

"I remember watching the 1953 final on a neighbour's black and white television with a nine inch screen.

"It's the first cup final I can really remember watching.

"It was fairytale stuff. Everybody wanted Stan to get his medal. It was very fitting that he won it in Coronation Year.

"The news of his death is very sad. He was a legendary figure.

"I was at Wembley for the Argentina match. The announcer made the point that Stanley Matthews had played international football from the age of 19 to 42.

"I don't think that will ever be overtaken."

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See also:
23 Feb 00 |  Football
The first gentleman of soccer
23 Feb 00 |  Football
Sir Stanley in pictures
23 Feb 00 |  Football
Tributes for 'magical' Sir Stanley
24 Feb 00 |  Football
Football world mourns Matthews

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