Sir Stanley Matthews
The first ever football knight is the greatest player to have turned out for Stoke City. He played close to 20 years for the Potters over the course of his long and distinguished career during which Matthews came to be regarded as the greatest player England has ever produced. Upon his death in 2000, a permanent statue was displayed at the Britannia Stadium.
A plaque on the dedication reads: “His name is symbolic of the beauty of the game, his fame timeless and international, his sportsmanship and modesty universally acclaimed. A magical player, of the people, for the people.”
Moore led England to the ultimate glory at the 1966 World Cup at home. The West Ham United legend is regarded amongst the greatest defenders to have ever played the game and was listed in BBC’s list 100 Greatest Britons.
England’s only World Cup-winning captain has been honoured with a statue at the home ground of the Three Lions’ national team: Wembley Stadium. The bronze sculpture sees Moore in an iconic pose with his arms crossed and left foot resting over a ball.
Puskas was the captain of the legendary Mighty Magyars of the 1950s that enthralled the world football and handed England a crushing defeat at Wembley to become the first team outside of Great Britain to inflict a loss on the Three Lions. Puskas had an uber-successful stint with Real Madrid with whom he won five league titles and three European Cups.
The legendary Hungarian has a statue dedicated in Budapest. It mirrors the famous photo of the great forward in an impromptu keepie uppie with some kids in the streets of Madrid.
The legendary Englishman holds many firsts to his name. He remains the only player to score hat-trick in a Wembley FA Cup final, first English player to score in a World Cup qualifier and was also the first from his country to score in the tournament proper.
He earned footballing immortality during his time at Blackpool, and especially for his heroics in that 1953 FA Cup final where his hat-trick helped Blackpool get the better of Bolton Wanderers 4-3. To honour their hero Blackpool erected a statue of Mortensen at Bloomfield Road’s North Stand, which also bears his name.
Clough is most remembered for his exceptional managerial skills, which allowed him to make a provincial side like Nottingham Forest into two-time European Cup winners. However, before Clough donned the mantle of a manager, he was an exceptionally gifted player, scoring goals left, right and centre.
He began his playing career with Middlesbrough and went on to score a remarkable 197 league goals in just 213 league appearances in a six-year period from 1955 to 1961 before switching allegiance to Sunderland. His goalscoring didn’t stop after switching teams as he racked up another 54 in 61 league games for the Black Cats. However, his career was cut short due to a leg injury. Nevertheless, Clough became an even bigger name in football management and Nottingham Forest fans erected a statue in his honour in the city.