Physically accurate though that adjective may have been to describe the gap-toothed Mancunian, anyone who had been on the wrong end of it would be loath to call his tackling toothless. But the criticism never put me off. Dave Kidd; 30 … Nobby Stiles was, in his own words, the fella with no teeth who danced round Wembley. In today’s era of football, advertising and commercialism has become very prominent. So in all fairness, it was as though he did not feel any pain at all, which also led to his ‘no holds barred’ character. In a way, you end up belonging to everyone.". "No, sorry.". I says: 'Course not, Alf'. Stiles also played very well in the final, which England won 4–2 against West Germany. "It worked both ways. The atmosphere was unbelievable. ” I think he was a magnificent influence on the team.I think if you look at the best of the Manchester United team that didn’t have Nobby, there may have been something missing….I remember asking Alf Ramsey once, he said that his 1966 World Cup team had 5 world class players and Nobby was one of them” - Sir Alex Ferguson. But to suggest to Nobby Stiles (5.75) that their value would be undermined by another English victory is to invite the kind of snap that, as a player, Alf Ramsey's midfield enforcer reserved for opponents' shins. Sir Alf’s gamble worked as England became only the second team to win the coveted Jules and Rimet trophy after the World War II, beating arch rivals Germany in the final at Wembley. ", He has a point. But my point was, the first goal we let in was in the semi-final. On the Friday, day before the game, he comes up to me at the hotel and says [he adopts Ramsey's faux posh tones perfectly]: 'Incidentally, you might like to know you're playing tomorrow.' He even took HP Sauce out there. "They roasted us after the group games. In his lucky suit Stiles was reckoned the squad's good-luck charm. Nobby Stiles in typically bullish pose “discussing” a decision with the referee at West Ham, “If someone kicked you, you kicked them back. Still, it wasn't until going on the coach to the semi against Portugal that I realised something was going on in the country. "Alf always told us we would win it, from the off," he says. "What a pile of crap. Upon winning the World Cup. Midfield maestro – Wrong-footing the German midfield during the 1966 World Cup Final. Available for everyone, funded by readers. I was fortunate in a way; because of the booking I knew I couldn't react. Alf's preparations for Mexico, by the way, were incredible. Along with Billy Bremner and Graeme Souness, Nobby featured in an episode of the show Football’s Hard Men, which shows how strong and invaluable he was for both England and Manchester United by putting his body on the line. That was the accepted norm. "A very, very good side, Argentina. When people and experts look back into the glory days of Manchester United, Denis Law, George Best and Bobby Charlton are the names that are usually chalked up, and once more Nobby is forgotten. The side was still forming in the mind of the manager as the squad assembled at the Hendon Hall hotel, just up the road from Wembley. But kids of me grandkids' age, they come up to me and go: 'Hey, you, you're the fella with no teeth who danced round Wembley, aren't you?' And it wasn't just the players. After England's first win of the tournament, against Mexico, he insisted on wearing the same shirt, tie, shoes, socks and underpants every day around the camp. "Hey, I'd rather not say, lad," he says. The inclusion of Stiles in the team provided just that. In fact, he was so violent that his front few teeth had to be removed due to a fight. I was a liability, they said. It came with a warning that another transgression and England would be deprived of their terrier for the rest of the tournament. Despite the likes of Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Alex Dawson and others, Stiles grew up to love Eddie Coleman the most. The two young tyros were of one mind, determined practical jokers who regarded it as their job to keep spirits high in the camp. Despite losing his hair and teeth, he didn’t lose his character nor his skill or fear of holding and nudging opposition players. "Of course we all thought we could win it but he said we would. A player who didn’t stand up to a fight was immediately removed from the team. It is a nice way of putting it. No one appeared worried about inflicting injuries. "It wasn't until '70 in Mexico that there was any hint of medical stuff. "Alf was great about it," Stiles recalls. I tell you what, I can't wait for someone else to experience what I did. But that was Alf.". The Toothless Tiger they called him. Course, I didn't know that, I was worried sick about not being in. They'd be reckoned obsolete by today's standards but in them days they was revolutionary. Comment. For Bally and Hursty and Bobby there are television shows to be done, books to be signed, dinners to be spoken after. Stiles was drafted into the first team squad after the shocking 1958 Munich tragedy, with the news of Eddie Coleman’s death leaving him devastated. I used to clean everyone’s boots at that time, but I cleaned Eddie’s extra special” - Stiles. I had the hardest two weeks' training I've ever done in my life. The adrenalin kicked in and you started doing things you never thought you could.". I'll always remember that: HP Sauce on the tables. To be fair, though, I felt great at the end of it.". "Everyone still wants a piece of you because of it. What a man.". I'm not sure early on many in the country believed him. Roy Keane would have approved of the intensity of their pre-tournament paces. "I'd had a long season," Stiles recalls. Another World Cup and, for the lads of '66, more work. “”…Nobby dancing”, and in the 1998 version, in a reference to the World Cup finals taking place in France, the middle section consists of the line: “We can dance Nobby’s dance, we can dance it in France”.” - Frank Skinner and David Baddiel in the lyrics to “Three Lions”, the England theme song written with the Lightning Seeds for Euro 96: in the 1996 version. "I'm sure Nicky Butt would agree, you can't play if you haven't got the ball. Even during the season, when [Manchester] United were in the semi-finals of the European Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Cup, I never held back from a tackle thinking 'Hey, we've got a World Cup coming up and I don't want to get injured.' He will forever be a legend at Manchester United and England. Mon 27 May 2002 18.33 EDT It was only after the victory against Argentina, Stiles believes, that a head of steam began to develop behind England. "I did get them laundered," he insists. If a layman were to describe a footballer today, what he would probably refer to more would be the life of the player off the pitch than on it, an illustration that goes on to describe the paparazzi fever the fans are caught up with these days. One more trait of Scholes that Stiles possessed was his rash tackling, which has seen Scholes become the recipient of many red and yellow cards over the years. "I read in the paper the other day that we was all so jealous of what we did that we didn't want anyone else to win it," he says, bristling at the very concept. Nobby Stiles was, in his own words, the fella with no teeth who danced round Wembley. None of that. There is no one more supportive of the England team than the '66 lads, no one wants them to win more than me. I was doing cartwheels inside. But I managed it"). His post-match celebration featured Stiles dancing on the Wembley pitch, holding the World Cup trophy in one hand and his false teeth were believed HIS OWN STILE Nation fell for Nobby Stiles as he danced with dentures in hand.. no 1966 hero will be remembered with greater affection . Aged 23, he had first played for his country the year before, in the same game in which Jack Charlton made his debut. Even for World Cup winners, it seems, some things should remain private. But that time I didn't. Stiles however, never lost a fight in his life. You had George Best who was the master of dribbling, Denis Law who had almost perfect overhead kicks, Bobby Charlton who could score from distance, and finally Nobby Stiles and Pat Crerand who were the master minds of every United attack. If they'd come out and played, we'd have been in trouble but they didn't," he says. On a funny note, Nobby is also famous for his dancing skills. He man-marked Portugese playmeker Eusebio during the semi final match where the 3 Lions triumphed 2-1. Because he was loyal to you, you'd run through brick walls for him. Alf never took any notice. Upon retirement, Stiles like most other players took to coaching. No wonder. Hey, if you don't let goals in, you don't lose matches. Everyone concerned with England was doing it for Alf. "By all accounts the committee told him in no uncertain terms I couldn't play, that England needed to make an example of me.