Nobby Stiles, one of the toughest footballers in history

Nobby Stiles, one of the toughest footballers in history
Nobby 'Nosferatu' Stiles. One of the thoughest footballers in the history. PHOTO: Twitter

Última actualización 20 abril, 2024 por Alberto Llopis

Nobby Stiles was one of those footballers from another era. An antihero far removed from the glamour, style, and fame of today’s footballers. All this despite playing over 300 games and 13 seasons for a European giant like Manchester United and having won nothing less than the 1966 World Cup with England. The only one held by the British nation and celebrated precisely there. Nicknamed Nosferatu, he made some of today’s players look like charity nuns.

Nobby, the Nosferatu who rose to fame in the 1966 World Cup

Born in 1942, Nobby Stiles made history in the England World Cup when his markings were more on the ankle and other parts of the opponent than on the man himself, preventing the opponent from even wanting to contest the ball. He gave Eusebio, ‘The Black Panther’, a hard time in the match they played in that World Cup. It was also there, by coincidence, where he scored his first and only goal for the English national team.

Another image from that World Cup was Nobby Stiles hopping around, performing a kind of dance, with the World Cup in one hand and his false teeth in the other. At that time in British football, elbows flew as fast as dentures, and it was rare for someone not to wear false teeth. A master of that other football like him couldn’t be less, playing matches without teeth, leaving only two exposed that looked like fangs. Hence the nickname Nosferatu. Undoubtedly one of the toughest players in history.

Despite not being a fine stylist of football, he played for both the national team and Manchester with players like Bobby Moore, Bobby Robson, Gordon Banks, or George Best, with whom he shared a dressing room at Manchester United. Surely they were beauty and the beast. Finally, Stiles retired back in the 70s and even coached in Canada in the 80s before moving to the United’s school in the 90s.

Stiles left us on October 30, 2020

The latest news about him stated that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, which took him away after a long battle 7 years later, on October 30, 2020. Nobby Stiles, a footballer from another era, perhaps one of the toughest in history but perhaps also nobler than some of today’s players.

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