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Saturday, 27 October, 2001, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Sir Stanley tribute unveiled
Monument to Sir Stanley Matthews
The figures represent stages in Sir Stanley's career
A permanent memorial to football legend Sir Stanley Matthews has gone on show.

The former England manager Kevin Keegan, helped Sir Stanley's daughter, Jean Gough, take the wraps off before Stoke's game against Bristol City on Saturday.

Three nine-foot statues have been made by local artists, showing Sir Stanley at different stages of his 30-year career.

The England winger, who played more than 700 games for Stoke City and Blackpool, died last year at the age of 85.

Sir Stanley's daughter, Jean Gough, and Kevin Keegan, with one of the statues
The statues are outside the new ground
Thousands of Stoke City supporters cheered as the statues were uncovered.

The Sir Stanley Matthews' Foundation enlisted the help of England captain David Beckham, the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Association to raise funds for the tribute.

Foundation committee chairman Nigel Johnson said: "The committee has worked tremendously hard to reach this stage and appreciates the support it has been given from many quarters."


It is for the people of Stoke-on-Trent - because that is what Stan would have wanted

Carl Payne

Although the figures are at Stoke's Britannia stadium, they point towards the club's old Victoria Ground, where Sir Stanley played.

The statues, fashioned from local clay before being cast, took a year to complete.

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

Carl Payne, one of the sculptors, told BBC News: "A lot of people think it is for Stoke City Football Club - but it is not.

"It is for the people of Stoke-on-Trent - because that is what Stan would have wanted."

The winger, who was capped 54 times for England, died in hospital in February 2000.


People who knew Stan donated his old football boots so we could get it authentic - right down to the last eyelet

Carl Payne

He turned professional with at 17 and played his final game days after his 50th birthday.

Mr Payne, who refers to the work as The Evolution Of Sir Stan As The Wizard Of Dribble, added: "Historically it is absolutely correct

"People who knew Stan donated his old football boots so we could get it authentic - right down to the last eyelet.

"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."

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," she said.


Click here for more from BBC Stoke Online
See also:

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