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Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:39 UK
Stanley Matthews' football legacy in South Africa

Even in 2010, players coached by Sir Stan in South Africa 40 years ago remember his influence. Report by BBC Midlands Today's Nick Clitheroe

Unlike the 2010 England football team, Stoke City legend Sir Stanley Matthews spent a lot of time in South Africa.

And even now the influence of Stoke City legend Sir Stanley Matthews is still being felt in South Africa, 10 years after his death.

He was originally invited to the township of Soweto in 1955 by a local businessman.

The draw of nurturing local African talent was so strong that he returned regularly for the next 25 years.

Black man with the white face

Back in the 1950s, apartheid and racial segregation was the official policy in South Africa.

Soweto was considered to be a dangerous place but Matthews happily coached in townships where few other white men would venture into.

Such was the respect he was held by the locals, they called him the 'black man with the white face'.

Paradise Moeketsi, who was coached by Sir Stan, said: "There's no way to describe that man. That man, he was like the Jesus of this world."

In 1975, twenty years on from his first visit, Matthews organised a trip to Brazil for some of the his team - dubbed Stan's Men.

Most of them had never left their Soweto township but Matthews took them to train with the top Brazilian teams. They even got the chance to meet Pele.

Influence of national team

Many of the footballers coached by Matthews today credit Sir Stan with introducing modern football and formations to South Africa.

They argue that even the current national team has inherited some of his footballing principles.

And his influence is still being felt in South Africa thanks to the work of the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation.

The foundation was set up in 2000 and raises money to help disadvantaged youngsters participate in sport.

'Black man with the white face'
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
The story of Sir Stanley Matthews
18 Feb 10 |  History
The Sir Stanley Matthews statue
18 Feb 10 |  History




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