Seeing my dad Stanley Matthews get his FA Cup winner’s medal from the Queen was so emotional – my grandma nearly fainted

    JEAN GOUGH was a proud 14-year-old who watched her beloved dad Sir Stanley Matthews receive his FA Cup winners medal from the Queen at Wembley in 1953.

    The legendary winger inspired Blackpool to come back from 3-1 down to beat Bolton 4-3 in a match famously known as “The Matthews Final”.

    Stanley Matthews receives his FA Cup winners medal from the Queen in 1953

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    Stanley Matthews receives his FA Cup winners medal from the Queen in 1953
    Stanley Matthews (right) is held aloft alongside captain Harry Johnston

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    Stanley Matthews (right) is held aloft alongside captain Harry Johnston

    It was the first match Queen Elizabeth II attended and came exactly one month before her coronation — the game played on May 4 and her official crowning on June 4.

    Matthews mesmerised the 100,000 crowd — including Her Majesty — packed into Wembley with his incredible trickery on the right wing.

    He set up Stan Mortensen’s second goal of his hat-trick as well as Bill Perry’s winner three minutes into stoppage time.

    It was third time lucky for Blackpool and Matthews, who lost to Manchester United (1948) and Newcastle (1951).

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    Jean, 83, told me: “It was so emotional for us as a family. Each time I see clips from the game, it brings back wonderful, emotional memories.

    “I was there with my mother and two grandmothers. We were all sat with the rest of the spectators as this was before the days they sat players’ families together. 

    “We had all given up and thought this was going to be a third final of heartache — but what unfolded was terrific.

    “It was so emotional my mother’s mum almost fainted and someone had to give her brandy!”

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    The Queen had been on the throne for 15 months and was only 27.

    But, already, she had captured the hearts of the nation and Jean remembers how thrilled her father was to receive his medal from Her Majesty.

    She said: “He was so proud to get his medal from the Queen, who congratulated him on his achievement.”

    The 1953 final was famously the first to be televised live in its entirety and was a TV dress rehearsal for The Queen’s coronation that followed.

    Back then, there were only three millions television sets in the country — yet the match drew a TV audience of 10MILLION.

    Jean told me: “Because not so many people had TVs, they would cram into someone’s house who did to watch the final, as they did in even greater numbers for the coronation.”

    Indeed, the FA Cup final was eclipsed by the coronation which drew an incredible UK TV audience of 27MILLION.

    Matthews went on to meet the Queen on a number of occasions with the proudest moment coming when he was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 1965 — having already picked up the CBE in 1957.

    Jean (left) with her dad Stanley Matthews and mum Betty after he picked up the CBE from the Queen in 1957

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    Jean (left) with her dad Stanley Matthews and mum Betty after he picked up the CBE from the Queen in 1957
    Jean Gough with her brother Stanley Jnr and parents Stanley and Betty Matthews

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    Jean Gough with her brother Stanley Jnr and parents Stanley and Betty Matthews

    To this day, he is the only ever footballer to be knighted while still playing..

    And Jean — pregnant at the time — recalls the historic moment.

    She said: “We travelled from Blackpool the day before. We stayed in a hotel and I remember buying an outfit to wear for the occasion — a suit and hat.

    “I was pregnant with my first child. My dad always used to tell my husband, ‘Don’t make me a grandfather while I’m still playing.’ We saved him by a couple of months!

    “But the day itself was wonderful. We were in a dream state.

    “The carpets were up. Lots of people were waving outside the gates. My father was in a top hat and tails.

    It was so emotional my mother’s mum almost fainted and someone had to give her brandy!”

    JEAN GOUGH

    “We went into the Palace and were taken into the throning room where we waited.

    “The ceremony started. We watched the Queen put the sword over Pops’ shoulder. It was incredible. Unlike today, the number of people getting honoured was limited.

    “The Queen was well informed. She remembered giving him his FA Cup winners medal and once again congratulated him on his achievements.

    “My dad was a man of few words but he did say afterwards, ‘Oh my goodness, that was great.’ You could tell by his face, he was honoured — but at the same time embarrassed to become a ‘Sir.’.

    “If anyone called him, ‘Sir Stanley’, he’d always insist, ‘Please, just call me Stan’.”

    Jean Gough's proud dad Stanley Matthews kisses his daughter on her wedding day

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    Jean Gough’s proud dad Stanley Matthews kisses his daughter on her wedding day

    As part of the trip to meet the Queen, Matthews and his family were introduced to then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

    And Jean recalled: “We were given a guided tour of the House of Commons and met by Harold Wilson, who was puffing away on his pipe.”

    Jean says her dad admired The Queen and believes she modernised the Royal Family.

    She told me: “Pops was honoured to have known her. She was such a wonderful woman. I’ve been watching throughout the years and seen how she has modernised things.

    “The Royals, back in the day, didn’t have much to do with everyone else but she changed that.

    Jean Gough proudly shows off her dad's 1953 FA Cup winners' medal

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    Jean Gough proudly shows off her dad’s 1953 FA Cup winners’ medal

    “Anybody in the streets she would talk to. That is her legacy. She had the knack of making anyone she met that they were the only person in the world, whether they were a top celebrity or your regular man or woman in the street.

    “And that is being carried on by King Charles and his family. It was wonderful to see the King stop his car the other day outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and, with the Queen Consort, shake hands with everyone there. I thought that was amazing because he must have been devastated to have lost his mum. 

    “That is something she instilled into him.”

    Jean herself picked up an MBE in the 2015 New Years Honours list from the then Prince Charles for services to children and sport through the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation.

    If anyone called him, ‘Sir Stanley’, he’d always insist, ‘Please, just call me Stan’.”

    JEAN GOUGH

    Like her father, Jean is also humble and said: “It was another great day. I remember, Charles asking me, ‘Were you surprised?’ And I told him, ‘I was shocked.’ ‘Shocked?’ he said. “Yes, shocked, because I don’t deserve this sort of thing,’ I replied.

    “He was so charming and very nice. He’s going to be a great king.”

    DELIA DELIGHT AT MEETING QUEEN

    NORWICH joint-owners — celebrity cook Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones — were hosted by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle five years ago.

    Delia, 81, had a host of honours bestowed on her — OBE, CBE and OCH — by the late Queen.

    But her fondest memory of Elizabeth II was her overnight stay at Windsor.

    She recalled: “We were privileged to be invited, with about eight others and their partners, to a private dinner and an overnight stay, hosted by Her Majesty.

    “It was an evening of warm relaxed hospitality from both Her Majesty and her wonderful staff. One of the highlights of the evening was that after dinner the Queen herself escorted us all for a tour of the castle. 

    Delia Smith is made a Companion of Honour by the Queen in 2017

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    Delia Smith is made a Companion of Honour by the Queen in 2017Credit: PA:Press Association

    “On reaching the very splendid library we saw not just books, but family mementoes and each guest was directed to items pertaining to their own lives.

    “For me a letter describing the type of chef Queen Victoria was looking for, a collection of old cookbooks and some intricate kitchen utensils from a doll’s house. 

    “But in the centre on a lectern with a very splendid hand illustrated book of birds opened at a page containing guess what, a very splendid canary!

    “What this is really all about though, is that we were so fortunate to have the opportunity to see and experience first-hand what we had only read about before — the warmth, the sparkle and the humour of a genuine and beautiful person who was also a queen.”

    MAJESTIC OPENING

    MK DONS owner Pete Winkleman likened The Queen’s arrival to open the club’s stadium in 2007 to an aircraft taking off.

    Her Majesty was expected to make an entrance by walking through the players’ tunnel but instead rolled out into the stadium in a beautiful Bentley to a cheering crowd of 20,000 school kids.

    Winkelman told me: “It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

    “It is something I”ll always remember. That’s what the Queen did — made everyone feel special.

    “It wasn’t just me but everyone in Milton Keynes. We had 20,000 school kids there that day.

    “And it was like an aircraft taking off as she was driven through the service tunnel out on to the pitch in her Bentley. 

    “Our manager at the time Paul Ince’s daughter gave her a red balloon and she said to me, ‘What do I do with this?’ And I said, ‘You let it go, your majesty’ and she did. You can see the smile on her face as she let the balloon go. It was just symbolic of course.”

    Ince introduced Queen Elizabeth II to the players and Winkelman added: “The Queen already knew Paul because he had met her as the England captain. The moment was special to him because his daughter was involved in the ceremony.

    “When Paul became our manager that really was our entrance on to the football stage — and although we haven’t got the club into the Premier League yet I’m going to keep trying my hardest for the people of Milton Keynes.

    “For all those who are working today, we are putting big screens around the stadium so they don’t miss the funeral. She was a wonderful woman and will forever be remembered by the people of this city.”

    ROYAL PARADE

    THE QUEEN and Prince Philip visited Valley Parade in March 1997 to open the new Allied Colloids Stand as part of a visit to mark the centenary of Bradford’s royal charter as a city.

    It was Elizabeth II’s third visit to the city but first to Valley Parade.

    Having arrived on the royal train, she visited the cathedral before unveiling a plaque at Centenary Square and paying respect at the Bradford City Fire Memorial.

    After lunch she arrived at the stadium accompanied by chairman Geoffrey Richmond and entered the pitch after going through the banqueting hall.

    But, in best Yorkshire traditions, it was belting down with rain and blowing a gale. 

    Yet the Queen did not batter an eyelid and out came the brollies as she strolled across the red carpet where she met then Bradford boss Chris Kamara and was introduced to the players.

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    She was then taken to her seat in the stand to watch performances on the pitch from youngsters at theatre school Stage 84 and dancers from Kala Sangam.

    The Queen must have been freezing in the open stand where she was sitting but simply smiled throughout.

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