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Stanley Harding Mortensen (26 May 1921 — 22 May 1991), commonly referred to as Stan Mortensen, was an English professional footballer, most famous for his part in the 1953 FA Cup Final (subsequently known as "The Matthews Final"), in which he became the only player ever to score a hat-trick in a Wembley FA Cup Final. He was also both the first player to score for England in a FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and the first England player to score in the tournament proper.

Wartime career

South Shieldsmarker-born Mortensen went to war in 1939 as a wireless operator and overcame an injury - sustained when his RAF bomber crashed, leaving him as the only survivor - to become one of England's best post-war players.

During the war, he scored dozens of goals before making a strange piece of history by switching teams to play for Wales when they needed a reserve during a game against England in 1943.

Post-war career

On 25 May 1947, Mortensen made his full England debut against Portugal and immediately announced himself on the scene by scoring four goals in a 10-0 win. The next year, Mortensen played all six England internationals and scored seven goals, including a hat-trick against Sweden. In 1953, he played his part - and scored - in England's mauling at the hands of Hungary, but this was a rare blotch on an otherwise outstanding record.

In a playing career spent mostly with Blackpool, Mortensen scored 197 league goals in 317 games. By the end of his career, he had played twenty-five times for England and scored 23 goals.

Between 1945 and 1950, Mortensen scored in twelve consecutive rounds of the FA Cup, including the Final in 1948.

After nine years with Blackpool, Mortensen went on to play for Hull City, Southportmarker, Bath City and, after coming out of retirement, Lancaster City. After retiring for good, he returned to Blackpool as manager between 1967 and 1969, when he was sacked. He also auctioned his football medals in order to help Blackpool through a tough spell.

Mortensen topped the First Division goalscoring charts in 1951, with 30 goals. His most famous performance occurred two years later in the FA Cup Final of 1953, when he helped Blackpool to a 4-3 win against Bolton, after being 3-1 down, by scoring a hat-trick. Mortensen's third goal came with just a minute left in the game, and Bill Perry's injury-time goal sealed the victory.

Many players have scored twice in FA Cup finals since Morty's unique achievement without getting that elusive third goal. Manchester United's Bryan Robson had a golden opportunity to equal the feat in the replay of the 1983 final but, having scored twice, he passed up the chance to take a penalty awarded later in the game, with Arnold Muhren instead scoring from the spot.

Blackpool F.C. Hall of Fame

Mortenson was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Bloomfield Road, when it was officially opened by former Blackpool player Jimmy Armfield in April 2006. Organised by the Blackpool Supporters Association, Blackpool fans around the world voted on their all-time heroes. Five players from each decade are inducted; Mortenson is in the 1950s.


Mortenson was Blackpool manager from 1967 to 1969. On 18 November 1989, Mortensen led the Blackpool team out onto the Bloomfield Roadmarker pitch for their FA Cup first-round tie with Bolton. Former Wanderers forward, Nat Lofthouse, who faced Mortensen and Blackpool in the 1953 FA Cup final, led the visitors out.

Death and legacy

Mortensen died four days shy of his 70th birthday, on 22 May 1991, the very day his beloved Blackpool reached Wembley for the first time since that famous afternoon in 1953. They had beaten Scunthorpe United 3-2 on aggregate to reach the Fourth Division play-off final. A minute's silence was held before the final against Torquay United.

On his death, it was said, "They'll probably call it the Matthews funeral," in reference to Mortensen's overshadowing by Stanley Matthews after the 1953 FA Cup Final. His funeral was held at St John's parish church, Blackpool, and he was cremated at Carleton Crematoriummarker in Carleton, Lancashiremarker.

The month of May became associated with much of his life. During May, he: was born, signed professionally, made his England debut, won the FA Cup, and died.

In 2003, Mortensen was posthumously inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his talent and achievements.

On 23 August 2005, a statue of Mortensen was unveiled (by his widow, Jean, and former Blackpool teammate Jimmy Armfield) in front of Bloomfield Roadmarker's new North Stand, which now bears his name.

In the film The Game of Their Lives he is portrayed by Gavin Rossdale.



See also


  1. Guest Player for Wales
  2. - Match Statistics
  3. - Archive
  4. Legend 'Morty' remembered

Further reading

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