England star Nat Lofthouse made his Bolton debut at 15 on this day.
Nat Lofthouse, dubbed ‘The Lion of Vienna’ after a typically brave goal against Austria, has been one of England’s greatest centre-forwards. He scored twice on his debut, a 2-2 draw against Yugoslavia at Highbury, and finished with 30 goals in 33 internationals.
Big for his age, he made his first-team debut for Bolton Wanderers on this day in 1941. He scored twice in a 5-1 win against Bury and he was only 15 years old!
He was born in Bolton and Wanderers were his only club. He had played for Bolton Schools and the Bolton Boys’ Federation before signing for Wanderers as an amateur in September 1939. It was the month in which war broke out, so the timing could have been better!
Lofthouse had a brilliant career as a Bolton pro’, scoring 255 goals in 452 League appearances and playing in two FA Cup Finals. After hanging up his boots in 1961, at the age of 35, he became the club’s reserve team trainer, chief coach, manager, general manager and chief scout. He was in charge of the ‘Executive Club’ at Burnden Park and, at 84, is still President.
He was England’s leading marksman in four years out of five and notched three goals during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.