We’d like to express our sorrow at the sad news of Nobby Stiles’ death on Friday 30 October at the age of 78.
The former Manchester United player was a vital member of England’s World Cup winning team from 1966, when he played in every minute of the campaign on home soil.
Despite his diminutive physique, Stiles’ combative and tough-tackling style of play made him an effective and fearsome player, capable of filling roles in midfield and defence.
He made his international debut in a 2-2 draw against the 'Auld Enemy' Scotland in 1965, becoming England's 834th player in the process.
But perhaps his most memorable game was the semi-final victory over Portugal at Wembley, when he nullified the threat of Eusebio as the Three Lions won to seal their place in the final.
And he was just as effective in that 4-2 victory over West Germany, before famously dancing on the Wembley turf after the game with the Jules Rimet trophy in one hand and his false teeth in the other.
In total, Stiles won 28 caps for England between his first game in 1965 and final appearance in 1970.
At domestic level, Manchester-born Stiles was a mainstay at Old Trafford, making over 300 appearances for the Reds in an eleven year spell between 1960 and 1971 when he helped the club to two League titles and one European Cup.
“Nobby Stiles will forever be remembered as a major part of English football’s proud history especially as a Wembley winner on two very notable occasions," said FA chairman Greg Clarke.
“Firstly, with England as part of the all-conquering side in 1966, before following that up two years later with Manchester United as they became the first English team to lift the European Cup after he helped them to twice win the league title.
“He may not have been the most imposing player on the pitch, but he was certainly a formidable presence for club and country. The sight of him celebrating the World Cup triumph on the Wembley turf still lingers more than half-a-century on from that famous day and is remembered as much as his commanding semi-final display against Portugal.
“Nobby Stiles will be much missed, and my thoughts are with his family and friends today.”
We would like to pass on our condolences to Nobby’s family and friends at this sad time and will pay our own tributes at England's next game at Wembley, against Republic of Ireland on Thursday 12 November.