Nobby Stiles passes away

Friday 30 October 2020 16:13

Manchester United are extremely saddened to learn Nobby Stiles MBE has passed away.

An integral part of our first-ever European Cup-winning side, Nobby was a titan of the club’s history, cherished for his heart and personality on and off the pitch.

He will be sorely missed by us all.

Nobby Stiles: An obituary


Everyone at United was desperately sad to receive the news that our iconic former midfielder Nobby Stiles has died.

A product of the famed United youth system, Nobby broke into the first team at the start of the 1960s, and finished it as the only Mancunian to have won both of football's most prestigious trophies, having also played in England's 1966 World Cup success.

A famously pugnacious midfielder, he was at the heartbeat of the sublime United side of the mid-60s alongside George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, where he formed a combative midfield partnership with Pat Crerand.

He made 395 appearances for the club between 1960 and 1971, and scored 19 goals before departing to join Middlesbrough.

Nobby's United story didn't end with the culmination of his playing days, however. After managing Preston North End, Vancouver Whitecaps and West Brom, he was invited back to the club in the late 1980s by Sir Alex Ferguson. Along with legendary coach Eric Harrison, he would play a pivotal role in developing some of the club's greatest players, such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Stiles celebrates winning the European Cup with Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes.
Nobby was awarded an MBE in 2000, along with several other members of England's famous 1966 World Cup-winning squad, but struggled in later years due to prostate cancer and the onset of Alzheimer's.

One of the club's most beloved sons, and a local hero to everyone in the United-supporting north Manchester heartland of Collyhurst - where he grew up, and has a street named after him - Nobby will be sadly missed. But his incredible achievements will be treasured and remembered forever.

In remembrance of Nobby, the flags at Old Trafford are now flying at half-mast. There will be a minute's silence before Sunday's home fixture against Arsenal, during which the team will wear black armbands in Stiles's honour.


Many in the football world, including countless former Reds, have already reacted to Nobby's passing with their own personal thoughts on the great man. You can read some of their tributes below.

Denis Law:
“I’m so desperately saddened by this news. Nobby was a top player and a top man. He was such a popular guy in the dressing room. Everyone knew Nobby would be there when the going got tough on the pitch, but you shouldn’t underestimate what a good footballer he was too. I played against him in training and for Scotland against England and all I can say is I’m glad he was my teammate more often than my opponent.”

Gary Neville:
 “Rest in Peace Nobby. Thank you for all you did for us. You taught us how to fight for everything in that red shirt . 'Your studs are your best friends out there.'”

Mike Phelan: “RIP Nobby Stiles a great man for club and country. Thank you for everything you brought to this life Nobby you will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.”

Nicky Butt: "He was my first United coach at 13, an icon of the club, and a god-like figure, massive for all of us who came through the youth team. He was amazing, a World Cup winner but probably the most humble man I’ve ever met. It’s a sad day for all of the people at the club and everyone in the country given what he did with England as well."
Robbie Savage: “
Extremely saddened by the death of Nobby Stiles. As a 16-year-old boy at Manchester United, it was a privilege to be coached by a legend of the game and a true gentleman. His advice and guidance helped me throughout my career and my thoughts and condolences go to his family. RIP.”

Watch a short tribute video for Nobby.
Danny Higginbotham: Such sad news to hear that Nobby Stiles has passed away. I know he was ill for a while but doesn’t take away the shock. He was my coach as a kid @ManUtd and what an unbelievably humble human being. A massive influence on myself as a youngster. Thoughts and love with his family.”

Ben Thornley:
Extremely sad to learn of the death of Nobby Stiles. It was an honour to be tutored in my early years at Man Utd by, not only a colossus for both club and country, but a gentleman of the highest order. God bless Nobby and to the family you leave behind.”

Norman Whiteside:
“RIP Nobby Stiles a fantastic footballer but more importantly a lovely man.”

Willie Morgan:
 “One of the nicest people I ever met, he will be greatly missed by all that knew him. RIP Nobby.”
Rene Meulensteen: “Sad news. R.I.P Nobby Stiles. True legend for Manchester United and World Cup winner with England.”
Vinnie Jones: “I loved Nobby Stiles! Another of our 1966 World Cup winning heroes leaves us. RIP Nobby Stiles - My thoughts are with your family.”
Jesse Lingard: “RIP to a United and England legend! I remember the stories my family would tell me about watching him play. His legacy will always remain!”
Viv Anderson: “Rest in peace Nobby! Absolute legend for Club and Country! Always in our hearts!”
Mark Lawrenson: “Terrible news re Nobby Stiles..He more than anyone made me into a Player at PNE..Absolute Gentleman as well...Love to the family...Very Sad day....”