The iconic image of Nobby Stiles holding the World Cup in one hand and his false teeth in the other whilst dancing around the pitch in 1966 will forever linger in the memory of every England supporter. A likeable fellow in his playing and coaching days, we take a look at the some of the top quotes on Nobby Stiles.
A legend at Manchester United with over 300 league games, Stiles was also a part of the famous England team that won the coveted World Cup at Wembley Stadium.
His tough and uncompromising midfield responsibilities was epitomised by two performances of his against the Portuguese great Eusebio. In the 1966 World Cup semi-final Stiles man-marked the prolific striker to good effect as England reached the final, and then met up with him again during the European Cup final against Benfica in 1968.
Born in the cellar of his home in an air raid during the war, Stiles was seen as short of height, having missing teeth, and being short-sighted. However, 11 seasons at Old Trafford saw two First Division titles, one European Cup, and one FA Cup victory.
A total of 28 caps for England included every match at the 1966 World Cup tournament where he was the main architect in the midfield. His dance at the end of the game has been mentioned in songs decades later.
Belatedly honoured with an MBE, Stiles worked as a football manager after retiring, and oversaw the development of the young Manchester United players in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s; names such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes!
“technically and morally brilliant…..” George Cohen
“…..he was a great defender. I always thought when he played he was one of the most important players and you wanted him in your team. He was a great driving force.” Paddy Crerand
“more than anyone made me into a player at Preston – absolute gentleman as well.” Mark Lawrenson
“As a coach he was unbelievable. He was an icon at the club.” Brian Kidd
“Nobby was a titan of the club’s history.” Manchester United FC
“You taught us how to fight for everything in that red shirt.” Gary Neville
“Nobby was a top player and a top man. He was such a popular guy in the dressing room.” Denis Law
“…..five world-class players and Nobby was one of them. A great reader of the game…..a marvellous reader of the game – influenced the team, could tackle, could pass.” Alex Ferguson
“He had a heart that was even bigger than the gap in his teeth.” Gary Lineker
“Great character, and the heart and soul of the team.” Geoff Hurst
“Nobby had all the attributes that a central defender should have.” Paddy Crerand
“What you saw was him – a humble and modest human being.” Brian Kidd
“That group of young players, that Class of ’92, were taught how to be United players by Nobby.” Phil Neville