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5 Famous footballers who served in the armed forces

  • A professional footballer's life is a strenuous one. It requires a lot of preparation, patience, talent and a little bit of luck. A lot of a playe ...
Rohit Menon
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 24 Aug 2015, 00:15 IST

#5 Stan Mortensen

Stan Mortensen was the first player to score for England in the World Cup

Stanley Harding Mortensen was a former English centre-forward who is remembered for being the first player to score for England in FIFA World Cup qualifying and the first England player to score in the World Cup finals tournament.

Stan began his career with Blackpool in 1941 and established himself as one of the club’s greats during his 14 years at Bloomfield Road. He won the FA Cup final in 1953, famously scoring the only hat-trick to ever be scored in an Wembley FA Cup final as he and Stanley Matthews helped inspire a 4-3 win for their side after going 1-3 down.

The forward went on to play for a host of other clubs in England including the likes of Arsenal, Hull City and Bath City, consistently scoring goals till his retirement in 1962. His England career on the other hand lasted only six years and in that time he made 25 appearances and scored 23 goals.

Stan’s experience with war came before he started playing for Blackpool. He had to overcome a serious injury he sustained while working as a wireless operator during World War II, which was caused when his RAF bomber aircraft crashed. After the accident in war, he went on to become one of England’s best post-war players.

Published 23 Aug 2015, 04:23 IST
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