Nobby Stiles: An obituary

Sir Matt used to give Stiles a simple instruction at the start of games –

“Norrie, let him know you’re there in the first five minutes”

– and invariably the opposition did. His heroic performance in the 1968 European Cup final victory over Benfica is a classic example, and once again led to joyous scenes of celebration on the Wembley turf, Busby embracing Stiles after the final whistle.

His United career came to an end in 1971 when he moved to Middlesbrough, and he was later reunited with Sir Bobby Charlton at Preston North End where he was player-coach and then manager. After a spell as boss of West Bromwich Albion he finally returned to Old Trafford in 1989 when he took up a post as youth-team coach. 

During this spell he worked with many of the lads who would be central to United’s success throughout the 1990s, players such as Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville. He spent four years as part of United’s coaching staff before leaving in 1993. And while his performances may have contributed to two of his managers receiving knighthoods, he was given his own gong in 1990 when he was presented with the MBE by the Queen in recognition of his services to football.

Manchester United extends its deepest condolences to Nobby’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.

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