The son of Hanley's famous boxing-barber, Jack Matthews, Stan was the greatest footballer the world has ever seen. Born in Hanley, on leaving school he did general office work, while also on the ground staff at the Victoria Ground. He turned professional on his 17th birthday, having represented England at schoolboy level in 1929. He made his League debut for Stoke on March 19, 1932. Occupying the right-wing position throughout his career both as a club player and England international, he won the first of his 54 full England caps in September 1934 (Wales), scoring in the 4-0 win at Cardiff. During World War Two, Matthews appeared in 24 wartime and five Victory internationals, and also represented the Football League, the Football League XI and the FA XI. His first stay at Stoke ended in 1947, when, aged 32, he moved to Blackpool for £11,500. There he helped them to with the FA Cup in 1953, and scored 17 goals in 379 appearances for the Seasiders before returning to Stoke City in October, 1961, for a fee of £2,500.
Matthews was 46 years old at the time, yet he still went on to play for a further four years for The Potters. Promotion was gained back into the First Division in 1963 and two years later on February 6, 1965, just five days after his 50th birthday, he retired from competitive football with well over 800 games under his belt, 701 in the Football League (332 with Stoke and 369 for Blackpool). His record at Stoke is 355 senior appearances and 62 goals. He is the oldest player ever to win a full England cap, aged 42 years, 103 days. He was knighted in 1965, having received the CBE nine years earlier). After leaving Stoke, Matthews toured the world, coaching in many countries including the Far East. In 1967-68 he returned to manage Port Vale, before going to live in Malta, where he took charge of Hibernians. He later lived in Canada before returning to the Potteries in the late 1980s to live. In 1989 he was appointed president of Stoke City Football Club. He was presented with the Midlands Sports Personality of the Year in 1994.