England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles dies aged 78

Football legend Nobby Stiles, who was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966, has died aged 78 after a long illness.

Stiles was also part of the Manchester United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup two years later, when they beat Benfica in the final at Wembley.

A statement issued by the Stiles family read: “The Stiles family are sad to announce that Nobby Stiles passed away peacefully today (30/10/2020) surrounded by his family after a long illness.

“The family kindly ask for privacy at this sad time.”

1966 World Cup winner Nobby Stiles is presented with an award on the pitch prior to kick off.

Stiles was credited with playing a key role in neutralising the threat of Portuguese star Eusebio in the World Cup semi-final. In total he won 28 caps, the lowest number of any of the World Cup-winning side.

England offered their condolences on Twitter. Their post read: “We’re incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Nobby Stiles, a key member of our FIFA World Cup-winning squad, at the age of 78.

“All of our thoughts are with Nobby’s loved ones.”

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Manchester United's Nobby Stiles (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Jimmy Greaves in a tussle for the ball during the First Division match at White Hart Lane, London.

Stiles was born in Collyhurst, Manchester, in May 1942, during an air raid. He agreed apprentice terms with United in 1959, at a time when the club was still recovering from the Munich air disaster a year earlier in which eight players were killed.

He won league titles with the Red Devils in 1965 and 1967, before the continental success the following year.

A statement from Manchester United read: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Nobby Stiles MBE.

“An integral part of our first-ever European Cup-winning side, Nobby was a titan of the club’s history, cherished for his heart and personality on and off the pitch. He will be sorely missed by us all.”

England's first goal scored by Nobby Stiles, a surprise choice centre-forward, in the international match against West Germany at Wembley.

Stiles left United in 1971, going on to play for Middlesbrough and Preston. He later managed the Lilywhites between 1977 and 1981, before coaching Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps and then West Brom between 1985 and 1986.

He returned to United as a youth team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1989 for a four-year stint.

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