Nobby Stiles will mostly be remembered by the football world for being a key part of two famous sides: England’s World Cup-winners in 1966 and the Manchester United team that won the European Cup two years later.
At Manchester United his influence was massive.
After a successful playing career the midfielder turned to management and coaching. During his time as a coach, Stiles proved a major inspiration to a young Gary Neville as well as the other graduates from the famed ‘class of ’92’, who helped United dominate English football.
“It’s an incredibly sad day,” Neville told Sky Sports News (via Irish Examiner). “It’s an incredibly sad day. He loved Manchester United and he loved his country also. He represented both with great pride and spirit.
“He was fantastic to work with, a great man. His messages taught us how to battle and fight in the red shirt.
“His coaching style was typical of how he played the game. He wanted to make sure we were never intimidated on the pitch, that we went out there and demonstrated our desire. I can still hear him saying your best friends on the football pitch are your six studs.
“Nobby wanted us to go out there and make sure we always won the battle, to make sure we applied ourselves properly in our work ethic. He was a massive influence on us and everybody at the club. You don’t realise when you’re 16 but you realise now looking back how blessed we were to be in the company of people like Nobby Stiles. It was like the best football university you could ever have.”
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 “ ❤️ pic.twitter.com/njE02x7yDx
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) October 30, 2020
Stiles played for United between 1960 and 1971, making 385 appearances.
Between 1989 and 1993, the Mancunian born football icon worked with United as their youth team coach.
“That group of young players, that Class of ’92, were taught how to be United players by Nobby,” Phil Neville wrote in The Times.
“He taught us what it meant to play for United and how we were expected to conduct ourselves.
“He instilled values and stayed with all of us, I think, not just throughout our careers as players but in all aspects of our lives.”
In memory of former Man City academy player Jeremy Wisten and the late, great Nobby Stiles.
You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/hsuUEfTLLt
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 30, 2020
The Manchester United and England legend was given a tribute before kick-off in the FA Youth Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea last night.
GNev aside, a number of Manchester United players who worked with Stiles in the 1990s took to social media to pay tribute to the World Cup winner’s impact on their careers.
— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) October 30, 2020
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.
— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) October 30, 2020
We send our best wishes to the Stiles family.