Forget Ruud, our Stan is the man for Vardy to beat

Stan Mortensen

Stan Mortensen

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Jamie Vardy looks to equal a Premier League record this weekend, but Blackpool’s very own Stan Mortensen is the real man to beat.

Much has been made about former Fleetwood man Vardy becoming the first Englishman to score in nine successive Premier League games, as he aims to equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s feat of ten in ten games.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy

But the traditionalists will be quick to point out football began way before the introduction of the Premier League in 1992.

Mortensen holds the top-flight record as he fired goals in eleven consecutive games for Blackpool in the 1950-51 season, a record which stands proudly to this day.

The run could have been much more impressive had Mortensen not picked up injuries, he actually managed to score 15 games in a row, but separated by injury he fired three in three, then missed a game, then eleven in eleven, then one more after another niggling injury.

While Vardy’s haul of nine in nine has made worldwide headlines, back in March 1951, Mortensen’s ninth barely got a mention in The Gazette.

In fact, it took until the twelve paragraph of Clifford Greenwood’s back-page report to even mention the name of the famous striker – goalscoring was simply the norm for one of England’s most prolific strikers of all time.

In 317 games for Blackpool he found the net an incredible 197 times.

At international level he wasn’t shy either, with 23 goals in just 25 appearances, add to that the fact that between 1945 and 1950, Mortensen scored in twelve consecutive rounds of the FA Cup, including the Final in 1948.

Should former Highbury hot shot Vardy match the Premier League record this weekend, few would bet against him going onto challenge Mortensen’s.

As well as scoring more goals than anyone else this season, Vardy has also created more chances, had more shots on target and completed more tackles than any other striker, to say he’s on form is an understatement.

Vardy’s path to Premier League and international glory is all the more incredible when you consider it comes just three years after he was playing in non-league for Fleetwood Town.

And ahead of the game against Newcastle this weekend, Vardy claims winning is more important that any record, although few will believe him.

“You remember seeing loads of Van Nistelrooy’s goals, but you don’t remember seeing them coming in consecutive games,” he said.

“The amount of goals he scored, you’d probably think he’d scored in more successive games.

“But I’ve not really looked at stats like that, all I’ve thought about is getting as many goals as I can for Leicester.

“All that’s at the back of my mind is getting a goal and three points.

“We’re flying high and that’s where we want to stay, we want to keep putting performances in and picking points up. It’s as simple as that.”

If he does go onto beat Mortensen it will be some achievement, the Blackpool legend is one of the greatest ever strikers.

After setting the record he went onto top First Division goalscoring charts in 1951, with 30 goals.

His most famous performance occurred two years later in the FA Cup Final of 1953, when he helped Blackpool to a 4–3 win against Bolton Wanderers by scoring a hat-trick, the only player to do so in a Wembley final.

When it came to goals, Stan was very much the man.