Player Profile: Nobby Stiles
Locally born, Nobby Stiles was offered an apprenticeship with Manchester United in 1959. Stiles made his league debut in a 1–1 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park in October 1960 and went on to win the First Division Championship in 1965 and 1967 as well as the memorable European Cup Final against Benfica in May 1968.
As one the most important players in Matt Busby´s legendary Manchester United side of the swinging sixties, Nobby Stiles has a rightful place alongside household names such as Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. The midfield terrier made well over 300 appearances for his beloved Manchester United before he decided to team up with at first Second Division Middlesbrough and then Bobby Charlton´s Preston North End at the end of his brilliant football career. An international for England, Stiles made his senior debut in a 2–2 draw with Scotland at Wembley in April 1965 and notched up 28 appearances under manager Alf Ramsey. Even though many experts seriously doubted the qualities of the unselfish workhorse before the start of the 1966 World Cup in England, the actual importance of his role during the tournament was truly immense. Displaying courage and perseverance, Nobby Stiles became something of a national icon after The Three Lions had managed to dismantle their historical enemies West Germany to the tune of 4–2 in the final at Wembley Stadium. And although his passing was sharp and accurate, it was his good running and hard tackling that brought him the fame he deserved.