Sunday, August 21, 2016

Matthews Sheds Light On English Football Star's Coaching In Apartheid South Africa

Poster is Designed by Nial Smith
Courtesy Everett Collection via Mitch Horn

Babe Ruth swung for the fences in the 1920s, and America crowned him the Sultan of Swat.  In England, Stanley Matthews compares at the same cultural magnitude, and one upped the Bambino’s royalty by becoming the only active footballer to receive a Knighthood.  Their off the field activity also made them both larger than life. But just because Sir Stanley was slight and his exploits far harder to spot amongst Ruth’s girth and gregariousness, doesn’t mean the English legend got his proper due in the history books and is the subject of an upcoming documentary called, Matthews.

The story that filmmaker Ryan Scott Warren is telling begins as Matthews was traveling to an exhibition tour in Johannesburg. “He was driving from the airport, and he saw little boys playing soccer with a ball made out of a plastic bags. They were doing his signature move. So when he stopped the car to get out, these little boys in Soweto knew immediately who he was,” says Supervising Producer Mitch Horn.  “He had no idea how far his fame had reached, and was really taken.”

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