Seasiders Who Represented Their Nation
The 2014 World Cup is just days away, and in the second of our Blackpool At The World Cup articles, we look at more Seasiders who've represented their country on the world's greatest stage.
This time we look at a World Cup winner, and yet another English record-breaker.
As recently as 2010 Blackpool had their links at the World Cup, as Pool players put their tangerine shirts to one side for a month.
But it is the players from further back in time who created a name for themselves especially, before returning to Bloomfield Road.
Stanley Matthews – England & Blackpool
World Cups: 1950 & 1954
At 23 years, nobody has ever enjoyed a longer spell in the England squad than Stanley Matthews. While at Blackpool the winger played in the 1950 and 1954 World Cups, representing his country in both Brazil and Switzerland.
After impressing for The Seasiders, Matthews was a last minute inclusion to the England squad which travelled to Brazil. He missed the opening two games against Chile and USA, but did feature in England’s defeat to Spain, which saw them exit the competition at the group stage.
Four years later and his 1953 FA Cup heroics for Blackpool helped ensure Matthews was included in another World Cup squad. He played in a 4-4 draw with Belgium, as well as the costly 4-2 defeat to Uruguay, as England again exited early.
Jackie Mudie – Scotland & Blackpool
World Cup: 1958
Three of Jackie Mudie’s 17 Scotland caps came at the 1958 Swedish World Cup, but he couldn’t prevent them from crashing out at the group stage.
Being Blackpool’s first choice forward certainly helped his case, and his hat-trick over Spain guided the Scots to the World Cup.
Mudie started all three of Scotland’s group matches against Yugoslavia, Paraguay and France, but one point was all the group's bottom side could muster.
Alan Ball – England & Blackpool
World Cup: 1966
The youngest member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side, Alan Ball lifted the world’s most prestigious accolade as a Seasider.
Aged just 21, Ball received praise throughout the competition, especially for his performance in the final in front of 98,000 people at Wembley Stadium.
The midfielder played in England’s 0-0 draw with Uruguay, and was recalled for the quarter final victory over Argentina. From there Ball kept his place for the 2-1 win over Portugal in the last four, and then the famous success against West Germany.
At the Wembley final Ball played his part in Martin Peters’ strike, before crossing for Geoff Hurst to score one of the most talked about goals of all time, England’s third of the afternoon.
It meant Ball lifted the trophy at his first ever World Cup, and from there he’d go on to represent his country in 1970 as an Everton player.
Richard Kingson – Ghana & Blackpool
World Cup: 2010
It was after an impressive World Cup campaign with Ghana that Blackpool snapped up Richard Kingson in 2010.
The goalkeeper played in all three group games against Serbia, Australia and Germany. Kingson then impressed as The Black Stars edged past USA in the last 16 to set up a quarter final with Uruguay.
An infamous Luis Suarez handball denied Ghana a semi-final slot, as Kingson’s side crashed out on penalties, before he moved to Bloomfield Road later that summer.