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English diary-Tuesday 25th July (

26 Lul 2006 - Source:

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PSV are in England for a five-day training camp. At the end of each day presents a diary, covering some special news. The No 1 entry is from Stoke-on-Trent and focuses on football legends Sir Stanley Matthews and Gordon Banks. Sir Stanley Matthews (1915-2000), one of the greatest footballers of all time, kept fit enough to play at the top level until he retired at the age of 50 years. The 'Wizard of dribble', was born at Seymour Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and is undoubtedly the greatest son of the town, where PSV are staying right now. Mega-Star Robbie Williams, the famous darters Ted Hankey and Phil Taylor, the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and the captain of the Titanic are all from Stoke, but Matthews will be remembered as the greatest hero of the community. As an outside-right he was without compare. He signed his first contract (with Stoke City) in 1932, at the age of fourteen. In total, Matthews made 54 official England appearances scoring 11 goals (as well as 29 unofficial wartime appearances with 2 goals. In 1956, Matthews won the first ever European Footballer of the Year award and in 1961 (aged 46) he rejoined his hometown club Stoke City. Yet he always felt he had retired from football too early. There is a statue of Matthews outside Stoke City's Britannia Stadium, which was unveiled on 27th October 2001. Actually there are three nine-foot statues, all on one plinth, depicting Sir Stan at different stages of his 30-year career. And we met a hero in person: Gordon Banks, who ranks among the best goalkeepers ever! On the picture you will see PSV Press Officer Pedro Salazar Hewitt on the left; the man on the right is Stoke City Football Chairman Club Peter Coates and the in the middle is Sir Gordon Banks. He was named “Goalkeeper of the World Cup 1970”. On Tuesday night he walked around the boardroom of Stoke City, the club where he is an honorary member of the board. Banks pulled off one of the most spectacular saves ever: Pelé delivered a glancing, downward header towards Banks' near post corner at the World Cup 1970. It seemed impossible for him to get to the ball, but Banks miraculously hurled himself downwards and backwards and got the base of his thumb to the ball. England may actually have lost that game, but the 1970 save outshone the result, especially as England qualified for the next stage after all. Banks made 510 league appearances, 194 of them for Stoke and won 36 international caps whilst at Stoke. Sir Gordon Banks just walked around the boardroom, talking warmly about the pre-season friendly and football in general.To round off: a warm day, a flight, some delay at the airport, a trip by bus through the English countryside, a good squad and a 0-0 draw.