The daughter of famous footballer, Sir Stanley Matthews, paid a visit to Heckmondwike this week to see how the former factory which made her father’s boots is now enjoying a new lease of life with a redevelopment by house-builder, Orion Homes.
Once the premises of the Goliath Footwear Company, the building off Thomas Street is being converted into a range of mews homes and the location is featured on the Spen Fame Trail highlighting historic places around the Spen Valley.
To pay tribute to the site’s past Orion Homes invited Sir Stanley’s daughter, Jean Gough, to present a framed picture of ‘the wizard of the dribble’ to display in the new showhome.
Members of the Spen Valley Civic Society also attended and Orion Homes made a donation of £100 to the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation charity of which Jean is patron.
Sir Stanley was the onle player to be knighted and continue playing. A near-vegetarian teetotaller, he kept fit enough to play at the top level until he was 50 years old. He was also the oldest player ever to play in England’s top football division and the oldest player ever to represent the country
Orion Homes Sales & Marketing Director, Dianne Reynolds, said: “Sir Stanley had an illustrious career with Stoke City, Blackpool and England. He was sponsored by the Goliath Footwear Company and his boots were specially made at the factory.
“They were unusually light, which helped make Sir Stanley famously quick on his feet, and apparently he got through several pairs a season.”
“Sir Stanley also visited the factory to talk to workers and see how the boots were made. All these years later, we are delighted to welcome Jean and husband Bob to see the results of our Brunswick Place development and make a connection with the site’s past.
“The Spen Valley Civic Society has done some excellent work in highlighting the significance of places like this with the Spen Fame Trail and Orion Homes are proud to be a part of it.”
Erica Amende, Secretary Spen Valley Civic Society, said: “Heckmondwike was one of the focal points of the Industrial Revolution and there are many buildings in this area which are ripe for redevelopment. It is great to see one of these buildings being rejuvenated.”
A number of three, four and six bedroom homes are currently for sale at Orion Homes’ Brunswick Place development. Prices start from £164,995, or just £131,995 with the availability of the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
Part exchange is also available. Further information can be obtained from the Sales Information Centre and showhome (open from Thursday to Monday, between 11am and 5pm) on 01924 404490. Further details on all Orion Homes developments are available at www.orionhomes.co.uk. Details on the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation are available at www.sirstanleymatthews.com.