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Scoring Goals, Building Bonds: Five Iconic Footballers who were Freemasons

A list of iconic footballers who were Freemasons

Two players playing football

UEFA Euro 2024, the premier football tournament of the year, is right around the corner, and the football world is abuzz with anticipation, exhilaration, and excitement. Fans are gearing up for what many believe is a showcase of extraordinary talent, with players and teams vying to etch their names in history. However, beneath the bright lights and roaring crowds, there lies a fascinating connection between the fraternal order of Freemasonry and the beautiful game.

Football has always had a long association with Freemasonry, from the Football Association being founded at the Freemasons’ Tavern in 1863 to the creation of Football Lodge No. 9921 in 2016. Etched into the chronicles of football's storied past are the tales of a distinguished group of players who were proud Freemasons. Here are five professional footballers who made their mark on the national and international stage and who were also members of the United Grand Lodge of England.


John Charles (1931 - 2004) 

John Charles football player
John Charles - (By Geoff Charles - This image is available from the National Library of Wales, Wikipedia)

Born in Swansea, Charles played for Leeds United, Juventus, Roma, Cardiff City, and Hereford United. Remarkably, he never received a caution or sending off throughout his entire playing career. Charles' prolific goal-scoring prowess saw him net an impressive 370 goals at the club level, while also finding the back of the net 15 times in just 38 international appearances for the Welsh national team. In 1968, during his stint with Hereford United, Charles was Initiated into the Services Lodge No. 7139 in Penarth.


Dixie Dean (1907 - 1980) 

Dixie Dean
Dixie Dean - (Source – Wikipedia, Public Domain, Fair Use)

Playing for Everton, Dean is one of the most prolific goal-scorers in English football history, with 349 goals in 399 matches between 1925 and 1937. He holds the record for the most goals scored in a single season in top-flight English football, with 60. He also represented England 16 times and scored 18 goals, including two hat tricks. He was Initiated in Randle Holme Lodge No 3261, Birkenhead, in 1930.


Sir Stanley Matthews (1915 - 2000)

Stanley Mathews
Sir Stanley Mathews - (By Source: Football And All That An Irreverent History, Norman Giller, ISBN 0340835885, Fair use, Wikipedia)

A professional footballer with Stoke City from 1932, Matthews transferred to Blackpool in 1947, winning the FA Cup in 1953. Matthews played until he was 50, and in 1956, at the age of 41, he became the first European Footballer of the Year. He played 54 times for England. Matthews joined Blackpool’s Clifton Lodge No 703 in 1948, shortly after joining the club.


Sir Alf Ramsey (1920 - 1999) 

Alf Ramsey
Sir Alf Ramsey - (By Bert Verhoeff for Anefo - Nationaal Archief Fotocollectie Anefo (cropped), CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Wikipedia)

After a successful career as a player with Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and England, Sir Alf Ramsey took the reins at Ipswich Town, becoming the manager and taking the club from the Third Division to First Division Champions. He was appointed England manager in 1963 and was in charge when England won the 1966 World Cup. Ramsey joined Waltham Abbey Lodge No 2750, Chingford, in 1953, just before he retired as a player and was a member for over 30 years.


Bert Trautmann (1923 - 2013) 

Bret Trautmann
Bret Trautmann

Serving as a paratrooper in the German Army during the Second World War. Trautmann was captured in France in 1945 and transferred to a POW camp in Lancashire, where he started playing football. By 1948, he was the goalkeeper of St. Helens Town, and a year later, he was signed by Manchester City. He stayed with City until 1964, famously playing on after breaking his neck in the 1956 FA Cup Final. He was Initiated in Torkington Lodge No. 7359, Cheshire, in 1962.

As the excitement of Euro 2024 captivates football fans worldwide, the tales of these Freemason footballers remind us of the enduring connections between the Fraternal order and the beautiful game. From the goalscoring exploits of Charles and Dean to the countless other Freemasons who have graced the pitch, their stories weave a tapestry of brotherhood, perseverance, and excellence that transcends the sport itself.

Freemasonry's association with the sport of cricket runs deep, with a history as rich as the game itself. Dive into this blog post to uncover more about this fascinating connection!

Also, be sure to check out our website to learn more about other famous Freemasons throughout history.

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