England v Germany: Why Stanley Matthews was booed by England fans during 1935 game against Germany

In 1935, Blackpool legend Stanley Matthews was called up for England in his third international cap.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 4:55 am
Stanley Matthews with fellow Blackpool legend Stan Mortensen in October 1953
Stanley Matthews with fellow Blackpool legend Stan Mortensen in October 1953

Matthews was needed after Ralph Birkett was unable to play due to injury.

The game against Germany at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium was already a controversial event.

Only two years previous Adolf Hitler had been elected as Chancellor, and while there was a respect held for Hitler’s new policies amongst some people in England others were not so celebratory about Germany.

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This was demonstrated by the loud protests at the match.

Targeting the stadium a series of protestors from trade unionists to Jewish organisations demanded the match be cancelled, however it went ahead, and is memorable for the England players raising their hands in the air giving the Nazi salute.

Fans could cheer at the end after England beat the German side 3-0 however Matthews was one person not celebrating.

He was outplayed by his opposite number Reinhold Münzenberg in both attack and defence and he was jeered by England supporters.

He was also condemned by the press at the time for his performance.

Fortunately, he went on to become and legendary player for England with 54 caps over a 23-year period.