Manchester United and England legend Nobby Stiles passed away today at the age of 78. Stiles was a highly decorated player and manager, and was a crucial member of Sir Matt Busby’s rebuild after the Munich Air Disaster.
Praise and memorials poured in from across English football mourning the death of a great player, and even greater man.
Rest in peace, Nobby ❤️— England (@England) October 30, 2020
Saddened to hear that Nobby Stiles has passed away. Another of our 1966 World Cup winning heroes leaves us. He had a heart that was even bigger than the gap in his teeth. RIP Nobby.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 30, 2020
Nobby Stiles has been described as the “heart” of the Manchester United team that won 2 league titles and the European Cup in the 1960s, and certainly played the role at the heart of midfield. A tough, physical defensive midfield player, he made a nuisance of himself for United, and for England in their historic World Cup win in 1966.
Despite his relatively small frame, Stiles was a ruthless defender. He was described by Sir Bobby Charlton as a “dog of war,” and famously marked Eusebio out of the World Cup Semi-Final against Portugal. The pair were reunited in the 1968 European Cup Final, when Manchester United beat Benfica 4-1 after Extra Time.
After several jobs in management, Nobby Stiles returned to Manchester United as a youth team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson, Brian Kidd, and Eric Harrison, where he helped coach up Manchester United’s next generation. A few names from that crop include, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and Gary and Phil Neville.
Stiles’ service to the club has been paramount to its success. He is fondly remembered by all, and will be sorely missed. RIP Nobby Stiles.