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Memorable Match: Bolton v Blackpool

Ahead of this weekend's FA Cup tie with neighbours Blackpool, Chris hops into his DeLorean and nips back to 1953

Ben Hoskins

The 1953 FA Cup Final was the eighth to be held at Wembley Stadium 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.

Blackpool were making their third FA Cup appearance in six years having been losing finalists twice, in 1948 and 1951.

Bolton made their way to the Final via the following route:

Third round - Bolton Wanderers 4 Fulham 1

Fourth round - Bolton Wanderers 1 Notts County 1 - Replay 2-2, 2nd replay 1-0

Fifth round - Luton Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 1

Sixth round - Gateshead 0 Bolton Wanderers 1

Semi-final - Bolton Wanderers 4 Everton 3

Whereas Blackpool's fixtures were as follows:

Third round - Sheffield Wednesday 1 Blackpool 2

Fourth round - Blackpool 1 Huddersfield Town 0

Fifth round - Blackpool 1 Southampton 1 - Replay 2-1

Sixth round - Arsenal 1 Blackpool 2

Semi-final - Blackpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Blackpool striker Stan Mortensen grabbed Wembley's first FA Cup final hat-trick, but even he had to concede centre stage to Blackpool team-mate Stanley Matthews.

Britain's best-loved footballer had tried and failed on two occasions to get his hands on a winner's medal but, at the age of 38, this finally proved to be his year.

Bolton's newly-crowned footballer of the year Nat Lofthouse maintained his record of scoring in every round as early as the second minute with a soft shot that eluded goalkeeper George Farm.

Mortensen levelled with a deflected cross-shot but Bobby Langton's chip and a header from Eric Bell, reduced to a virtual passenger due to a torn hamstring, put Bolton in total control.

Then, suddenly, Matthews sprung into life, turning on the magic to expose Bell and the tiring Ralph Banks down the right wing.

Blackpool fed Matthews at every opportunity and he responded by setting up Mortensen for his second 20 minutes from time and then again for the equaliser with just two minutes left.

With Bolton on the verge of collective collapse, Matthews continued to dominate and, deep into stoppage time, set up South African winger Bill Perry to crack home the winner.

Even Lofthouse stood and applauded.

Blackpool: Mortensen 35, 68, 89; Perry 92.
Bolton: Lofthouse 2, Moir 40, Bell 55
HT: 1-2
Attendance: 100,000

The Teams


George Farm,, Eddie Shimwell, Tommy Garrett, Ewan Fenton, Harry Johnston (c), Cyril Robinson, Stanley Matthews, Ernie Taylor, Stan Mortenson, Jackie Mudie, Bill Perry

Manager: Joe Smith

Bolton Wanderers:

Stan Hanson, John Ball, Ralph Banks, Johnny Wheeler, Malcolm Barrass, Eric Bell, Doug Holden, Willie Moir (c), Nat Lofthouse, Harold Hassall, Bobby Langton

Manager: Bill Ridding