Out for the last time (Credit-Mirrorpix)
Sir Stanley Matthews' Testimonial remembered
Just imagine the scene... The crème de la crème of footballing talent from across the world coming together to play... in Stoke-on-Trent!? Sir Stanley Matthews' testimonial was such an occasion - forty years ago!
Sir Stanley Matthews' testimonial took place at Stoke City's Victoria Ground on the 28th April 1965, some 33 years after the winger made his debut!
A sublime array of talent made their way to the Potteries on that Spring evening - the European Cup winning Real Madrid duo of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano were there, as was Puskas' Hungary teammate Josef Masopust and the awesome figure of Lev Yashin between the sticks!
Sir Stan hangs up his boots...
To put it in perspective, can you imagine the likes of Ronaldo, David Beckham and Andriy Shevchenko turning up at the Britannia Stadium for anyone these days?
Stoke won a thrilling, open and attacking game of football 6-4 in the event, and as the whistle blew for full-time Sir Stan was carried aloft the shoulders of Yashin and Puskas while the appreciative crowd clapped the 'Wizard of Dribble' off the pitch for the last time.
Ironically, the passing out of a great footballing icon coincided with the birth of a technological ingredient that was to change the face of the sport throughout the next four decades - television.
The game was Stoke City's first outing 'on the box' and was beamed to an estimated 112 million people!
So what had he done to deserve this?
At the grand age of 50, Matthews was still gliding past full-backs with the grace and skill that made him an England regular well into his late thirties and early forties.
Matthews had helped fire the Potters to promotion as Second Division champions, and then to the League Cup final in 1963 where they lost to Leicester over two legs... and that was just his second spell!
What do you think about Sir Stan, or any of Staffordshire's other heroes or heroines?
If you've got something to say, or if you want to read what's already been said, check out our 'Staffordshire Greats' message board by clicking on the link below.
last updated: 20/11/2008 at 08:46