World News – GB – Far from being toothless, Nobby was a dancing destroyer in 1966


Nobby Stiles was, in his own words, the toothless guy who danced around Wembley

The sight of the midfielder’s little terrier jiggling across the famous grass, the Jules Rimet trophy in one hand and the false teeth in the other, is one of the most cherished memories of English football

Stiles, who died aged 78, played every minute of the 1966 World Cup winning campaign in England, doing the dirty work so that Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton could steal the show

In the semi-final victory over Portugal, Stiles excluded the great Eusebio from the match and he was also a key figure in the final against West Germany, his energy galvanized as the match headed for extra time

A naturally shy man, Stiles transformed on a football pitch and was loved by his teammates, both with England and Manchester United

He was born in the working-class district of northern Manchester at Collyhurst on May 18, 1942 in the basement of the family home during an air raid

His father Charlie ran a funeral parlor, while his mother Kitty worked as a devout Catholic stagehand, he spent the morning of the World Cup final in church

A Manchester United supporter, his talent was recognized when he played for England Schoolboys at the age of 15 and was apprenticed to the club in 1959

This could have been seen as a risk for United given that Stiles was barely five feet tall and severely short-sighted He wore contact lenses during games and thick glasses off the pitch which appeared to cover half of his face

But Stiles quickly established himself in the squad, going from a full-back to a holding midfielder – an unorthodox position at the time

He only won his first England cap a year before the World Cup final, but quickly became a favorite of Sir Alf Ramsey

His place appeared in jeopardy after a particularly fierce tackle in a group game against France knocked playmaker Jacques Simon out of the game

The referee did not punish Stiles, but the Football Federation wanted him to be ruled out for the quarter-final against Argentina

Ramsey refused and Stiles only found out after the manager’s death that he threatened to quit because of the issue

He won his first league title with Sir Matt Busby’s United team in 1965 and again two years later, while 1968 brought European Cup glory with a victory over Benfica

Stiles found himself facing Eusebio again, but now the tough man’s knees were not what they were and he was unable to hobble the Portuguese star with such efficiency.

Stiles had also lost his place in England’s first-choice squad to Tottenham’s Alan Mullery and his total of 28 caps was the lowest of any World Cup winners

He left Old Trafford in 1971, spending two years at Middlesbrough and then Preston, where he was a player-coach with Charlton as manager

He followed Charlton in resigning in 1975 following the transfer of defender John Bird to Newcastle, but returned to the club as manager two years later and remained until he was sacked after his relegation in 1981

Stiles struggled with some aspects of management He hated telling players that they weren’t or weren’t going to be selected

He stayed there, however, he moved to Canada to coach the Vancouver Whitecaps, then had a brief, unfortunate stint as manager of West Brom.

The salvation came in the form of a call from Sir Alex Ferguson in 1989 offering a coaching role in United’s youth squad, but it only lasted for four years

After that, Stiles continued to float after dinner, but it became more and more difficult when his health started to drop

He suffered a heart attack in 2002 and the first signs of dementia appeared soon after.In 2013 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer

In 2010, after a mini-stroke, he decided to sell his medals in order to leave something for his family Manchester United bought them for £ 200,000 and the medals are now kept in the club museum

Stiles married his wife Kay, sister of United and Leeds midfielder Johnny Giles, in 1961 He is survived by her and their three sons – former professional footballer John, Peter and Rob

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Nobby Stiles, Manchester United FC, England National Football Team, 1966 FIFA World Cup, Preston North End FC

World News – UK – Far from toothless , Nobby was a dancing destroyer in 1966


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