Sir Stanley Rous biography

Tue 28 December 2021 | 20:29

He is one of the most respected figures in English football. In this article, we will take a look at Sir Stanley Rous biography.

Stanley Rous, born 25 April 1895 and died 18 July 1986, was a British football referee and FIFA's sixth president. He served in the post between 1961 and 1974. He was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1943) and a Knight Bachelor (1949).

While he was never a professional football player, he first began his refereeing career in 1927 when he was assigned to referee England's lower league games, and refereed 36 international fixtures during his refereeing career. He refereed English Cup Final in 1934, where

Manchester City

defeated Portsmouth 2-1. It was the last match of Rous’ refereeing career.

He served as head of the English Football Association from 1934 to 1962. He was President of FIFA from 1961 to 1974. While in charge of FIFA, Stanley Rous was focused on tackling brutality on world football pitches, dealing with referees and national football federations alike.

On the eve of the 1970 World Cup, the 'yellow card' was introduced into football rules to help referees keep track of the rough play. Following the implementation of yellow and red card rules in football, the 1970 World Cup made history as the first and only tournament that did not see a single player sent off the pitch.

All You Need to Know About Sir Stanley Rous biography

Starting in 1950, he served on the World Cup Organizing Committee seven times, including three times as president (1966, 1970, 1974). He was awarded the UNESCO Fair Play Award in 1980 and also received the FIFA Golden Order of Merit.

When he left FIFA's office, he was named honorary president of the federation. He was the one who initiated the cycle of junior competitions (the FIFA Junior Tournament, later to become the European Junior Championship).

Sir Stanley Rous Information

Now that we know the British referee much better, in this section of

Sir Stanley Rous biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Sir Stanley Rous nationality

to let you know him even better.

Sir Stanley Rous Bio

  • Full Name: Sir Stanley Ford Rous

  • Nickname: The Lawman

  • Profession: Football Referee

Sir Stanley Rous Physical Stats

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Grey

Sir Stanley Rous Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 25 April 1895

  • Date of Death: 18 July 1986

  • Birth Place: Mutford, East Suffolk, England

  • Zodiac Sign: Taurus

  • Nationality: English

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Sir Stanley Rous biography

as we want to share some info about

Sir Stanley Rous childhood


Sir Stanley Rous Early Life

A sports teacher at Watford Grammar School for Boys in Watford between 1921 and 1934, Stanley Rous was an amateur football goalkeeper. He subsequently decided to become a referee and worked his way up the ranks, being a regular referee in the English Football League Third Division North and Football League Third Division South as well as in the Football League Second Division.

Later, he acquired the status of FIFA referee and refereed his first international match in Antwerp at the Bosuilstadion during a friendly match between the Belgian national team and the Dutch national team on 13 March 1927 of which the home team won 2-0. He refereed a total of 36 international matches during his career.

In 1934, he was selected to referee the

FA Cup

final at Wembley on 28 April when Manchester City and


Football Club played against each other with a 2-1 victory for the Citizens. After an international match he had to referee in


, he retired the next day when he was only 39 years old.

Now stay tuned to this section of Sir Stanley Rous biography as we want to share some info about his career as a football executive.

Managing Career in Football

It was then that Stanley Rous embarked on a great career as a manager. Rous was a long-time friend of one of FIFA's founding members and General Secretary between 1932 and 1951, Ivo Schricker of Germany, and therefore became involved in the world of football as a manager.

Immediately after his refereeing career was over, he was appointed Secretary of the English Football Association, as the successor to Sir Frederick Wall in 1934. He continued in this position for 28 years, between 1934 and 1962.

During that time, he managed to bring his association back into FIFA, which they had left following a pre-World War II falling out. He was also involved as a manager in the success of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

In addition to being an active participant in English sporting activities, he was also one of the leading theorists of football. Stanley Rous was the first to introduce the diagonal system of refereeing, which is still used by today's referees, and most importantly, he was the main person responsible for rewriting the rules of the game of football during the late 1930s.

Indeed, before 1938 and the subsequent decision to give Rous this task, the 17 rules of football were extremely messy and complex for its players and fans. He started to clean up the rules and rearrange them into a rational order. Such was the thoroughness and effectiveness of Sir Stanley's work that the rules were not subsequently rewritten for over 50 years, until the early 1990s.

President of FIFA

When Arthur Drewry, President of FIFA between 1955 and 1961, died, Stanley Rous, an influential figure in the world of sport, replaced him and became the sixth President of the association on 28 September 1961 in London, just a few months before the 1962 FIFA World Cup in



During his tenure, FIFA managed and organised three Olympic tournaments and four World Cups, one of them won by his native


in 1966. By the early 1960s, football was already the king of sports, and the television coverage of World Cups provided new exposure. Smaller federations throughout the world applied for membership of its organiser, FIFA, which at the time had difficulty financing itself through the organisation of these competitions.

The early part of Stanley Rous' presidency was also characterised by the dispute between FIFA and the Confederation of African Football, which complained about the lack of places allocated to its members by FIFA for the final stages of the World Cup.

Indeed, since the

World Cup

was created in 1930, African countries have had to compete in the qualifying rounds with the winners of other continental confederations to qualify, as FIFA denied them reserved places as it did for the European or South or Central American confederations.

Being accused of being pro-European, and threatened by the African countries that they would not play in the qualifying rounds for the 1966 World Cup, Rous relented and after much pressure, decided to grant them a direct qualifying place which


won, but only for the 1970 Football World Cup.

After his retirement as FIFA President on 11 June 1974 and being replaced by the Brazilian João Havelange, Sir Stanley Rous was named Honorary President at a ceremony in Frankfurt.

Sir Stanley Rous Profile

Sir Stanley Rous guided English football back when it still seemed obvious and even justified that he was an outsider. The world was always "isolated" from the fortunate British Isles. To get the "white lions" at the opening of the Roman stadium in which the 1934 World Cup final was to be held, one had to beg humbly and pay generously.

The Solomonic draw was a precise agreement that no one had the guts to write about, but instead rewarded the few out-of-class players, both native and non-native, with disastrous mistakes. It was federal secretaries Ottorino Barassi and Stanley Rous who had arranged everything.

Stanley Rous persuaded his compatriots to honour the world cup and was virtually the creator of UEFA, the European branch of the world federation. When the war ended, Rous and no others put an end to English isolation.

When the Italian football federation wanted to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its birth, it was soon the diva England that accepted Turin as the venue for the match with the Italian national team. Meanwhile, Vittorio Pozzo watched the easiest match on earth with confused eyes.

In vain Eliani asked how to mark the right-wing Matthews, who kept back and made Mortensen run: sighs came from our bench. Mortensen, the false inside player, ran on the extreme when Matthews' support had already jumped Eliani. The result was a crushing 4-0. The stunned Azzurri had held the ball for at least 60′ out of 90′. The defenders of the English team were a deceptive mirage like certain oases in the desert.

It was after that dazzling appearance in Turin that Stanley Rous went with the White Lions to the 1950 World Cup, resting in the comfortable hope that they would checkmate everyone. However, the debut in Belo Horizonte was a disaster.

The white lions crowded behind the US goal, eagerly defended by almost the entire team. The spaces were impossible and the English failed to understand that they had to spread the game out and finish from distance. A bad moment started the Yankee counter-attack and it was the incredible 1-0.

The Americans had built a team that was - as they say - a bit thin. They had an Italian immigrant in goal, non-English Britons in defence, Slavs and others who had been naturalised for too short a time for FIFA rules to be respected in the slightest.

It was the same Ottorino Barassi who warned Stanley Rous of the scandalous American trickery: had he filed a complaint, England would have won the match immediately due to the obvious illegality of the US signs.

It was here that Stanley Rous came up with a move that still reminds us today of a sportsman of absolute integrity. Upon Barassi's warning, he raised his shoulders, furrowed his brow, ran his big hand over his (red) nose and moustache, and then, said: "Thank you, my friend, Ottorino: but those scoundrels played so badly that they don't deserve to be back in the tournament." And he let the white lions return to their mediocre weekly wages. However, the masterpiece of Stanley Rous finally appointed a Crown Baronet, had to be the 1966 World Cup.

The English then had to face the Germans. An English referee had helped Germany to crush


; a German referee had helped England to beat Argentina, after having dramatically sent off their captain. The captain was a certain Rattin and the referee was his friend Rudi Kreitlein, who only realised he was being insulted and sent off the captain.

The British newspapers were talking about Latin Lunacy (the Uruguayans had also had a couple of sent-offs): no one had the courage to admit that Argentina and Uruguay were spoiling the party. There was then the choice of referee for the final and here many believe that Sir Stanley Rous bought the Swiss referee Dienst without paying a penny.

If you could appoint a referee from anywhere in the world to officiate a World Cup final at Wembley, there would be no question of a goal not being scored, no question of this or that being sent off, no question of punishing fouls by the guests only in the vicinity of the area, but regularly, however, in midfield, fouling the hosts!

The Swiss referee Dienst sold his soul to the devil and his calm representative on earth, Sir Stanley Rous. England won the World Cup, prompting a reaction - more or less overt - from all the foot soldiers outside the UK.

A Brazilian, Havelange replaced in FIFA as president. Sir Stanley Rous actually seemed exhausted by his 1966 triumph. Having had that satisfaction, the source of much envy, he could never recover from it. He watched football as all those who have been raving about it since their youth do, and he honoured the country's most popular product - whisky - with an enthusiasm that no longer held back. His broad, friendly face began to turn bluish.

A pint of the good stuff in every little vein: and from time to time the analysis, the excited alarm of the doctors. Whereas Sir Stanley Rous was obeying the categorical imperative to take good care of himself so as to return to better drinking as soon as possible. He passed away honoured by all, having passed the prodigious ninety a year ago.


He was a famous football referee, who after retiring as a referee, started to work in the field of football administration, helping to improve football as a game. He will be always remembered as one who contributed much to modern football during his career. With regard to football, Sir Stanley Rous is one of the pioneers of a history of the laws of the game.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Sir Stanley Rous biography

as we want to share some info about his life outside football.

Sir Stanley Rous outside Football

He had a slightly saddle-shaped nose, a thick, hard moustache and the strong chin of someone who always knows exactly what he wants.

Sir Stanley Rous died aged 91 in London. He was suffering from alimentary diabetes. From time to time he would go to a clinic so that he could live as healthy as ever and, if anything, die like a sick person. Some of his friends believed that he must have been knocked out by the last World Cup on the high seas. He was a little tired, as one who eats and drinks even as an old man should be (and his is a remarkable heft), but he certainly did not give the impression of being at the end of his rope.

Following his death, a competition was named after him, the Rous Cup, which was originally played between England and


, but was later joined by various South American teams.

His commitment to the sport was acknowledged by his appointment as a knight by King George VI of England in 1949.

Sir Stanley Rous Personal Life

In this section of Sir Stanley Rous biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Sir Stanley Rous life story


Sir Stanley Rous religion

, stay tuned.

Now stay tuned to this section of Sir Stanley Rous biography as we want to share some info about his family and private life.

Family, Children and Relationships

Sir Stanley Rous and his wife Adrienne Gacon married each other back in the 1920s in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England and the couple never had any children together. Both of them today rest in the Holy Trinity Church in the Lickey Hills.


According to the ‘Sir Stanley Rous and the Growth of World Football: An Englishman Abroad’ book, Sir Stanly Rous had done some charity work during World War ll.

Legal Issues

Sir Stanley Rous never had any legal issues or disputes over the course of his career in football as there are not any reports about that in the English media at the time of writing this article.

Sir Stanley Rous Career Statistics

In this section of Sir Stanley Rous biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.

Sir Stanley Rous Honors

In 1942, Sir Stanley Rous was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and in 1949 the Knight Bachelor.

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