England World Cup-winner Nobby Stiles has died aged 78 after a long illness, his family has announced.
Stiles was also part of the Manchester United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968, 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.”
Stiles was credited with playing a key role in neutralising the threat of Portuguese star Eusebio in the 1966 World Cup semi-final.
Sir Geoff Hurst, whose hat-trick helped England to victory over West Germany in the 1966 final, paid a glowing tribute to Stiles.
“Hugely sad to hear Nobby has passed away,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We were playing together way back for the U17s, U23s, and of course, for England, in fact, it was my first cap when Nobby scored, I think he was wearing No. 9!
“Great character, and the heart and soul of the team, he will be sorely missed.”
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