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The 1953 FA Cup Final, also known as the Matthews Final, was the eighth to be held at Wembley Stadiummarker 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. (Prior to the Wembley era, William Townley in 1890 and James Logan in 1894 achieved the same feat for Blackburn Rovers and Notts County respectively). Blackpool were making their third FA Cup appearance in six years having been losing finalists twice, in 1948 and 1951.

It was the first football match attended by the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who would be crowned Queen at her coronation a month later.

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 Stadiummarker. 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". Five minutes later, Bolton took the lead again when Bobby Langton lobbed Blackpool's goalkeeper George Farm 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 18 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.

Match details

GK 1 George Farm
RB 2 Eddie Shimwell
LB 3 Tommy Garrett
RH 4 Ewan Fenton
CH 5 Harry Johnston (c)
LH 6 Cyril Robinson
OR 7 Stanley Matthews
IR 8 Ernie Taylor
CF 9 Stan Mortensen
IL 10 Jackie Mudie
OL 11 Bill Perry
Joe Smith
GK 1 Stan Hanson
RB 2 John Ball
LB 3 Tommy Banks
RH 4 Johnny Wheeler
CH 5 Malcolm Barrass
LH 6 Eric Bell
OR 7 Doug Holden
IR 8 Willie Moir (c)
CF 9 Nat Lofthouse
IL 10 Harold Hassall
OL 11 Bobby Langton
Bill Ridding

Road to Wembley


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