The daughter of football legend Sir Stanley Matthews has condemned the British National Party after the party’s candidate filmed a video in which he talks about the Stoke City icon outside the bet365 stadium.
Jean Gough, Sir Stanley’s daughter, who lives in Stafford, said her late father would not have agreed with the party or the video, which features David Furness, who is standing for the BNP in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election on February 23.
The video, which was filmed without permission at the club, begins with Furness, who is also the BNP’s national press officer, standing on the car-park with the stadium in the background.
He said: “Stanley Matthews was one of Britain’s greatest footballers.
“He used to play for Stoke, as did Gordon Banks, the 1966 World Cup goalkeeper.”
Mr Furness goes on to claim the BNP are ‘providing a real choice for the people of Stoke’, adding that ‘all other parties are part of the establishment in this election.’
Hanley-born Sir Stanley Matthews spent 19 years playing for the Potters and gave up his summers every year between 1953 and 1978 to coach poor children in Africa.
He also ignored the South African apartheid regime to form a team of black schoolboys in Soweto.
Mrs Gough said: “I want to disassociate my father’s name from the BNP and I am seeking legal advice.”
She is a patron of the Sir Stanley Matthews Coaching Foundation, a charity which works to train coaches to carry on Sir Stan’s legacy.
A spokesman said: “Stan did a lot of coaching in South Africa.
“He certainly was not a racist – he would not have agreed with any of this.
“Asking for legal advice is the right thing to do – we do not want to be associated with the BNP.
“It is disgraceful to associate Stanley with the BNP and we distance ourselves from that.”
Stoke City have also sought to distance themselves from the BNP.
They issued a statement, which said: “Stoke City is aware that the BNP candidate in next Thursday’s Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, David Furness, recently posted online an election video filmed in a car park at the bet365 Stadium.
“He did so without first seeking permission from the club, which would have been refused in any case.
“The club wishes to make it clear that it in no way supports his views or those of the BNP.”
Sir Stanley Matthews played for Stoke City between the years 1930 to 1965 and died in 2000, aged 85.