From The Archives: Matthews' magic at Eynesbury Rovers charity match

Stanley Matthews in action at Eynesbury Rovers in April 1955.

Stanley Matthews in action at Eynesbury Rovers in April 1955. - Credit: EYNESBURY ROVERS

In April, 1955, The Hunts Post reported that football legend Stanley Matthews graced the turf at Eynesbury Rovers in St Neots.

Stanley, later Sir Stanley, appeared for England in 74 international matches and was a household name. The game at Eynesbury's Hall Road ground on April 19, drew huge crowds and was played against Fulham, ending 2-1 to the London side. 

Matthews play in Rovers' colours for the charity match, which was organised to raise money for a new stand. 

According to the match report in The Hunts Post,: "Hundreds of cars lined the Eynesbury streets, but the ground arrangements, supervised by NG Moore, proved to be first class, and the introduction of seating round the pitch was also a good move."

A cutting from The Hunts Post in April, 1955.

A cutting from The Hunts Post in April, 1955. - Credit: ARCHANT

"It was  a summer-like evening, but with a bone-hard ground and as Matthew's team, Blackpool, was not safe from regulation, he could not afford to risk injury. He played well below his best, but still gave hint of his magnificence and now the crowd buzzed with excitement and appreciation when he sold a dummy to the Fulham left back so cleverly that his defender lost his balance and lay full length on the ground while Matthews waltzed his way tantalizingly goal-wards to send a perfect centre over. 

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The report noted that every time Matthews was given the ball he was applauded. Eynesbury took the lead after 25 minutes. Fulham equalised five minutes later before scoring a second.

According to The Hunts Post: "As the final whistle blew, 50 or 60 autograph hunters chased Mathews into the dressing room."

A poster from the game on April 19, 1955.

A poster from the game on April 19, 1955. - Credit: ARCHANT

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The teams were treated to dinner at The Chequers pub in Eynesbury, and Stanley Matthews and Eynesbury chairman Mr L Henderson , made speeches and later there was a dance at the Public Hall, in St Neots. 

The Teams

Eynesbury: G Coles, S Blow, Hall, Watson, Housden, Smith,  Jones, Matthews, K Lee, H Lee, Norman P Whiteman. 

Fulham: Elliot, Gibson, Fisher, Smith, Brice, Collins, Morgan, Cronin, Hall, Edwards, Pratt.

Referee: W Thomas, from Luton.

Linesmen: Mr G Garrett and Mr D Causton. 

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