Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: Football: FA Cup  
Front Page 
FA Cup 
Scottish Cup 
World Cup 2002 
Eng Prem 
Eng Div 1 
Eng Div 2 
Eng Div 3 
Eng Conf 
Worthington Cup 
Scot Prem 
Scot Div 1 
Scot Div 2 
Scot Div 3 
CIS Ins Cup 
Champions League 
Uefa Cup 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

Bolton's Nat Lofthouse
"I thought that we were on our way to victory"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
The Matthews Final
Sir Stanley (right) revels in the cup final victory
Sir Stanley (right) revels in the cup final victory
One of Wembley's most dramatic occasions was the 1953 FA Cup Final. BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson looks back at The Matthews Final with 'forgotten' goalscorer Bill Perry.

It must be regarded as one of the most memorable matches at Wembley.

Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers were battling it out to become FA Cup winners.

Twice Blackpool had failed in the final - in 1948 against Manchester United and three years later when Newcastle United beat them.

In 1953 they reached the final yet again and this time they were hoping it would be third time lucky.

The only good thing I did that day was the score the winning goal!
  Bill Perry on the 1953 Final

Stanley Mortensen and wizard of the dribble Stanley Matthews were Blackpool's main stars.

At the age of 38, it was Matthews' third, and perhaps last opportunity to earn a winners' medal.

But Blackpool were up against the mighty Bolton who boasted internationals such as Holden, Langton and Lofthouse.

Blackpool were a goal down within the first minute when Lofthouse slotted home past a fumbling George Farm.

They managed to equalise 10 minutes before half-time through Mortensen but went into the break 2-1 down after another goalkeeping error.


It looked as though their chance had gone when Bolton went 3-1 up early in the second half.

Few could have imagined the drama left in the game but Matthews began to turn up the heat and Blackpool pulled a goal back, again through Mortensen.

With barely a minute remaining, Blackpool dramatically drew level with Mortensen clinching a hat-trick with a spectacular free kick.

Bolton fans were stunned at letting a two goal lead slip and believed the final was heading for extra time.
Sir Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley dazzled in the 1953 FA Cup Final

But worst was to come for them.

Matthews had other ideas and with one last burst of energy he collected the ball on the right wing and swept forward.

He dragged the ball back to Bill Perry who blasted it into the back of the net for an amazing 4-3 last gasp victory.

Mortensen scored a hat-trick that day, the only player ever to do so in an FA Cup Final at Wembley, but even his amazing achievement was overshadowed by Matthews' performance.

And hardly anyone remembers the fact that Perry scored the winning goal.


Perry though is not bitter to this day and still revels in the occasion at Wembley.

He remembers: "It doesn't bother me that my goal has been largely forgotten.

"As a matter of fact Stanley Matthews had played at Wembley twice before in the FA Cup Final and lost.

"Being the great footballer he was, I think everyone was hoping he would get a winners' medal and he did.

"All the players were pleased for him. He was a model player, a great sportsman and a friendly man who did not see himself as anything special.

The victorious Blackpool team celebrate the cup final win
The victorious Blackpool team celebrate their win

"I did feel sorry for Stan Mortensen because he scored a hat-trick that day and no-one really said much about it."

Perry can still remember the match clearly.

"I still have memories of the day.

"I had played well in the other rounds but in the final I felt I was poor.

"The only good thing I did that day was the score the winning goal!

"It was an amazing feeling and a great day."

And although he loved playing at Wembley, both for Blackpool and England, he said it was about time the stadium was upgraded.

I did feel sorry for Stan Mortensen because he scored a hat-trick that day and no-one really said much about it
  Bill Perry on Morty

He continues: "Wembley was and still is a special place. The atmosphere was great in those days when they had 100,000-plus crowds.

"However I have also experienced defeat at Wembley, when Blackpool were beaten by Newcastle in 1951, and that was not nice. There was nowhere to hide.

"I'm sad Wembley is being pulled down but I think we have got to move with the times.

"They would not be altering it if it did not need doing.

"It is still going to be on the same site and there will be much better amenities.

"We have got to keep up with the rest of the world with the best facilities.

"The only thing I wish they would keep is the twin towers.

"They are such a landmark. Fans all over the world recognise them."

Although Bill's playing days are long over, there could be a Perry making his mark in the new Wembley.

His grandson Ben Perry-Acton is a prolific scorer for Blackpool boys' team Foxhall - although he is still only 13!


Bill says: "Both Ben and my younger grandson Jack are showing promise.

"Ben is very one-footed at the moment although he scores an amazing amount of goals.

"I don't interfere too much because I don't want him to feel any pressure although I have told him to concentrate on making his other foot good.

"You never know what might happen in the future but it would be a great day if Ben or Jack did make it as professional footballers and played at the new Wembley."

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
See also:

23 Feb 00 |  Football
The first gentleman of soccer
23 Feb 00 |  Football
Sir Stanley in pictures
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to top FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to other FA Cup stories

^^ Back to top