After his death on Friday at the age of 78 after a long illness, honors were received for the legend of the English World Cup, Nobby Stiles.
In a statement, the Stiles’ family said: “The Stiles family are sad to announce that Nobby Stiles has passed away peacefully today, surrounded by his family after a long illness.
“The family is asking for privacy at this sad time.”
The midfielder has had both prostate cancer and dementia, which is reportedly at an advanced stage, and he is the seventh player from England’s starting line-up in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final to die.
The three lions paid tribute to Stiles, who played 28 international matches, via the team’s official Twitter account.
So did Manchester United, where he spent most of his playing career, along with Red Devils captain Harry Maguire.
We are very sad about the death of Nobby Stiles MBE. As an integral part of our very first team to win the European Cup, Nobby was a titan in club history who was valued for his heart and personality on and off the pitch will be sorely missed by all of us. pic.twitter.com/aT0Mk47cEl
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 30, 2020
Sir Geoff Hurst, a Stiles team-mate during the World Cup, wrote on Twitter: “Very sad to hear that Nobby has passed away. We played together a long time ago for the U17s, U23s and of course England. In fact, it was my first cap when Nobby met. I think he was wearing the number 9! He’s a great character and the heart and soul of the team. He will be sorely missed. “
Very sad to hear that Nobby died. We played together a long time ago for the U17s, U23s and of course England. In fact, it was my first cap when Nobby met. I think he was wearing the number 9! Great character and the heart and soul of the team, he will be sorely missed. https://t.co/VNfJZTePPd
– Sir Geoff Hurst (@TheGeoffHurst) October 30, 2020
David Beckham, who Stiles coached at United as a teenager, paid tribute to him on Instagram in a post that ex-English captain John Terry liked.
“So sad to hear the news from Nobby today …” he wrote. “I will forever be grateful for the support and passion he showed me and all the other youth team players when we were little kids.
“We were lucky enough to learn from a lot of greats at Manchester United, but Nobby was a World Cup winner so it was very special.
“Thank you for everything that Nobby will be great forever in our memories as United and England, but more importantly, our coach.
“Rest in peace and our thoughts are with your family and friends.”
Gary Neville, who was also coached by Stiles as he rose through youth at Old Trafford, said, “You taught us how to fight for anything in this red shirt.”
Rest in peace Nobby. Thank you for everything you have done for us. You taught us how to fight for anything in that red shirt. “Your stallions are your best friends out there” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/njE02x7yDx
– Gary Neville (@ GNev2) October 30, 2020
Former Three Lions top scorer Gary Lineker and record player Peter Shilton also attended the honors.
Sad to hear Nobby Stiles passed away. Another hero who won the World Cup in 1966 is leaving us. He had a heart that was bigger than the gap in his teeth. RIP Nobby.
– Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 30, 2020
Stiles’ solemn dance with the Jules Rimet trophy in one hand and his signature false teeth in the other created one of the most iconic images of the 1966 World Cup.
He was almost excluded from the tournament after seriously injuring French Jacques Simon in the last group game, but was allowed to stay after England boss Sir Alf Ramsey threatened to resign.
Stiles continued to be critical to the success of the Three Lions, with strong performances in the semifinals – where he kept Portuguese legend Eusebio calm – and in the final.
At club level, he played 395 games for United and won the First Division title in 1965 and 1967 and the European Cup in 1968.
Together with Bobby Charlton, he was one of only two English players who took part in the World Cup and the European Cup and won them. His medals were later bought by United for more than £ 200,000 in 2010.
Ian Callaghan was also a member of the European Cup and World Cup winning teams but did not play in the final of the latter.
The defensive midfielder spent 14 years at Old Trafford between 1957 and 1971 – 11 of them as a senior player – before spending two seasons per game at Middlesbrough and Preston North End, where he retired in 1975.
Two years later he took over the management of Preston. After coaching the Lilywhites for four years, he moved to the Vancouver Whitecaps before spending a brief stint at West Bromwich Albion and then returning to United between 1989 and 1993 as a youth coach.