The only football ever used to score a hat-trick in an FA Cup final at the original Wembley Stadium has been unearthed.
The ball was used when Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in the 1953 final, which saw Stan Mortenson score a hat-trick.
He carved his name in sporting history with help from his team mate, ‘The wizard’ Stanley Matthews.
Now the ball, used in a game nicknamed the Matthews Final due to his outstanding display, is coming up for auction at Hanson’s Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, on February 22.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hanson’s Auctioneers, said: “It’s been incredible to handle the only football ever used to score a hat-trick in the famous Matthews FA Cup final at the original Wembley Stadium.
“The ball was given to Mortensen at the end of a game, which was watched by 100,000 fans on May 2, 1953.
“Despite Bolton going 3-1 up, Blackpool came back to win 4-3.”
The ball is now owned by Chris Crook, 57, an IT business analyst from Dorking, Surrey, who explained the tangled path the ball took to reach him.
He said: “The football was donated to an FA charity raffle, possibly the tribute dinner for Stan Mortensen, at Blackpool’s Savoy Hotel on November 30, 1989.
“That event was attended by many of Blackpool’s former players and arranged to honour Mortensen’s 50 years of service for both Blackpool FC and the town.
“The football was won in a charity raffle by a waitress, who gave the football to her brother who lived in Sutton, South London.
“When his power failed at home one Christmas Day, he called his electrician, Tom Brown, to fix it.
“Tom knew about the football and its pedigree and joked about it being given as payment for coming out on Christmas Day.
“After fixing the electrics, Tom was given the football as a thank you.
“Tom was a great friend of my father-in-law, Harry Keith Simmons, and the ball was eventually passed down to me in 2007.”
Mr Hanson said: “The brown leather, 18-panel football was in a modern style for the period and would only have been used for internationals and finals. Back then, most footballs were of the cheaper laced variety.
“We expect the football to create worldwide interest. It will carry a guide price of between £3,000 and £5,000.
“I haven’t dared to try doing a kick-up with it. When you think that this ball was used to score seven goals, including that famous hat-trick, at Wembley 65 years ago, it’s quite humbling for a football fan.
“We hope it finds its way into an international museum of football, or perhaps into a Blackpool football fan’s collection since it represents such a glorious part of our game.”
The FA Cup final hat-trick football will be sold at Hanson’s Auctioneers’ Football Auction on February 22.
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