1953 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event1952–53 FA Cup
Date2 May 1953
VenueWembley Stadium, London
1952
1954

The 1953 FA Cup Final, also known as the Matthews Final, was the eighth to be held at Wembley Stadium after the Second World War. The football match was contested between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers, with Blackpool winning 4–3. The match became famous for the performance of Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews, after whom it was nicknamed. It remains the only Wembley FA Cup Final to feature a hat-trick, scored by Blackpool's Stan Mortensen. Blackpool were making their third FA Cup appearance in six years having been losing finalists twice, in 1948 and 1951.

In February 2010, the boots worn by Matthews in the match were auctioned at Bonhams in Chester for £38,400, to an undisclosed buyer and in November 2014 Matthews' winning medal was sold for £220,000.

Road to Wembley

Match summary

Matthews inspired his team to come from 3–1 down against Bolton Wanderers, to win 4–3, and on a personal note, he claimed the trophy that had eluded him in two previous finals. Despite the final being more famous for the heroics of Matthews, Stan Mortensen scored three goals for Blackpool on the day, becoming the only player ever to have scored an FA Cup Final hat-trick at the original Wembley Stadium. Bill Perry scored the winning goal. Nat Lofthouse, who scored Bolton's first goal, scored in every round of that year's FA Cup. Bolton took the lead after just 75 seconds with a Nat Lofthouse shot. Mortensen equalised after 35 minutes with a deflected "cross-shot". Four minutes later, Bolton took the lead again when Willie Moir outstripped Blackpool's goalkeeper George Farm after short crossing pass of Bobby Langton and Bolton went in at half-time 2–1 ahead. Ten minutes into the second half, Eric Bell, playing through injury with a torn hamstring, put Bolton further ahead, a lead they kept for 13 minutes. Then came the turnaround for which the match has become famous, when Matthews proved to be the inspiration for a Blackpool comeback. His cross from the right wing, with 22 minutes remaining, was met by Mortensen who netted his and Blackpool's second goal. Then, with less than two minutes remaining, Mortensen completed his hat-trick and Blackpool's comeback to equalise directly from a free-kick. Then, with just seconds remaining, Matthews again crossed from the right wing. His cross, which passed just behind Mortensen, was met by Bill Perry, whose shot made the score 4–3 and won the match for the Seasiders. Even Nat Lofthouse, in defeat, is said to have stood and applauded.

Cyril Robinson is the only member of the winning side still living, while three of the defeated Bolton players are still alive.

Coverage

The match was considered the first major TV audience for a sporting event. Televisions had been bought or rented by many households for the forthcoming Coronation. On Radio the match was broadcast in full on the BBC World Service and the second half on the domestic Light Programme. After this final proved to be so popular, the Cup Final was given its own standalone slot and broadcast in full on TV and radio.

Match details

2 May 1953
Blackpool 4–3 Bolton Wanderers Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 100,000
Referee: B. M. Griffiths
Mortensen Goal 35' Goal 68' Goal 89'
Perry Goal 90+2'
(Report) Lofthouse Goal 2'
Moir Goal 39'
Bell Goal 55'
Blackpool
 
Bolton Wanderers
GK 1 Flag of Scotland George Farm
RB 2 Flag of England Eddie Shimwell
LB 3 Flag of England Tommy Garrett
RH 4 Flag of Scotland Ewan Fenton
CH 5 Flag of England Harry Johnston (c)
LH 6 Flag of England Cyril Robinson
OR 7 Flag of England Stanley Matthews
IR 8 Flag of England Ernie Taylor
CF 9 Flag of England Stan Mortensen
IL 10 Flag of Scotland Jackie Mudie
OL 11 Flag of England Bill Perry
Manager:
Flag of England Joe Smith
GK 1 Flag of England Stan Hanson
RB 2 Flag of England John Ball
LB 3 Flag of England Ralph Banks
RH 4 Flag of England Johnny Wheeler
CH 5 Flag of England Malcolm Barrass
LH 6 Flag of England Eric Bell
OR 7 Flag of England Doug Holden
IR 8 Flag of Scotland Willie Moir (c)
CF 9 Flag of England Nat Lofthouse
IL 10 Flag of England Harold Hassall
OL 11 Flag of England Bobby Langton
Manager:
Flag of England Bill Ridding

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