1953 FA Cup Final: Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers

Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton Wanderers

  • Blackpool
    • Mortensen Goal 35' Goal 68' Goal 89
    • Perry Goal 90+2'
  • Bolton Wanderers
    • Lofthouse Goal 2'
    • Moir Goal 39'
    • Bell Goal 55'

Wembley Stadium, London, Saturday 2nd May 1953


Match Referee:B. M. Griffiths

Team Line-ups:


  • 1 George Farm
  • 2Eddie Shimwell
  • 3Tommy Garrett
  • 4 Ewan Fenton
  • 5 Harry Johnston (c)
  • 6Cyril Robinson
  • 7 Stanley Matthews
  • 8Ernie Taylor
  • 9Stan Mortensen
  • 10 Jackie Mudie
  • 11 Bill Perry
  • Manager
  • Joe Smith

Bolton Wanderers

  • 1 Stan Hanson
  • 2 John Ball
  • 3 Ralph Banks
  • 4 Johnny Wheeler
  • 5 Malcolm Barrass
  • 6 Eric Bell
  • 7 Doug Holden
  • 8 Willie Moir (c)
  • 9 Nat Lofthouse
  • 10 Harold Hassall
  • 11 Bobby Langton
  • Manager
  • Bill Ridding
Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

The 1953 Final has been dubbed the 'Matthews Final'. No one else could have rescued Blackpool from the plight they found themselves in ten minutes after the interval when the injured Bell headed home Hoiden's cross to put Bolton 3-1 up.

Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

At this Blackpool might have crumpled as they had done twice before at Wembley. Instead, Matthews, for whom the whole world crossed its fingers as he strove for the third (and perhaps the last?) time to gain a Cup-winners' medal, stepped forward to dominate the green stage.

Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

The match had begun dramatically, with Lofthouse scoring for Bolton after only seventy-five seconds. Hassall deflected Mortensen's shot into the net to provide Blackpool with an equalizer, but within minutes Bolton were ahead again from Langton's cunning Job.

It was not until the last quarter of the match that Blackpool clicked into gear, and Matthews proved to be their inspiration. Twenty-two minutes from the end Mortensen met one of Matthews' spinning, curling crosses at the far post to make it 2-3.

Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

Chances went begging until Mortensen scored direct from a free-kick three minutes from time. With only seconds left Matthews went inside the full-back, sprinted for the by-line, and in the last yard cut back a diagonal pass. Mortensen was too far forward, but Perry was on hand to shoot home inside the post.

Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953 Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

Stanley Mortensen makes the score 3-3 direct from a free kick.

Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1953

Stanley Matthews before making the winning pass.

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