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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Sir Stanley returns to Stoke
Statue being transported
The three statues are cast in bronze
A permanent memorial to Sir Stanley Matthews has been set up in Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands.

The three statues depict the various stages of Sir Stanley's career.

It has taken a year to complete the statues which were fashioned from local clay before being cast.

The final resting place is Stoke's Britannia stadium but the statues point towards the club's old Victoria Ground.

Stanley Matthews statue
Local clay was used to sculpt the memorial

Three sculptors from the Potteries designed the statues.

The figures were cast in bronze at a Welsh foundry.

Much of the initial work was carried out at the Britannia Stadium, with the help of Stoke fans.

Carl Payne, one of the sculptors, said: "All the balls are in the right era and the strip, even the rope around the shorts of Sir Stan when he was a young lad and made his debut for Stoke.

"We think we got it all right anyway."

Sir Stanley, who was capped 54 times for England, died in hospital in February 2000 at the age of 85.

He turned professional with Stoke aged 17 and made 710 Football League appearances for Stoke and Blackpool.

His career with Stoke, Blackpool and England spanned more than 30 years until his final game five days after his 50th birthday.

Sir Stan's daughter Jean Gough was delighted to see the finished memorial.

"It's absolutely magnificent. It's so lifelike and the movement and balance is there.

"It kind of makes me want to cry. It's come home."

Fans will get a chance to see the statues when they are formally unveiled on Saturday.


Click here for more from BBC Stoke Online
See also:

05 Oct 01 | England
Sir Stanley's shirts on sale
03 Mar 00 | UK
Final farewell to Sir Stan
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