Blackpool's 1953 FA Cup
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It has been said that the 1953 FA Cup Final between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers has become one of the most mythologized in British sporting history. Forever remembered as the ‘Matthews Final’, despite the hat-trick from team mate Stan Mortensen, it is now elevated to a status in history that became more than just a football game. It defined an era. The newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II was present at the game, and television beamed the excitement into thousands of homes for the first time.
The story of the game itself is remarkable, yet Blackpool’s route to the Twin Towers was tortuous in itself with doubts and fears littering the pathway to eventual glory. At the time the seaside town played host to one of the most attractive and magnetic of football teams with the famous names of Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen, Harry Johnston, Ernie Taylor and the rest expertly marshalled by the astute management of Joe Smith. Their style of football, alongside their bright tangerine shirts, lit up grounds up and down the country and it is fair to say that Blackpool Football Club held a special place in many fans’ hearts.
The 1953 FA Cup Final triumph made legends of the players and the team. All 11 men that day, coupled with the genius of manager Joe Smith, can rightly be described as ‘Tangerine Wizards’.
Roy Calley works for BBC Sport as a television producer. Although living on the South Coast and working in a career that often involves weekends, he still travels to as many games as possible to watch the ‘Mighty Pool’.
Hehas followed Blackpool, his local football club, since 1967. Despite having moved away from the town many years ago, Roy is a passionate supporter, who has seen more lows than highs in the many years since his first experience at a sunny Bloomfield Road against Bristol City in the Second Division. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Roy had his first experience of writing about the club when he created the fanzine 'View From The Tower’. Roy has also written 'Blackpool: The Complete Record', recently published by DB Publishing, a statistical history of Blackpool FC.