Nobby Stiles was small – only an inch taller than Maradona. He had poor eyesight and had to where dentures after losing several teeth in his childhood. But Nobby Stiles is one of only two Englishmen to have won both the World Cup and the European Cup.
He was a tenacious midfield ball winner whose job was often to stifle the opposition’s star player. It was Stiles who was assigned the role of stopping Eusebio both for club and country as Jack Charlton recalls:
“Nobby Stiles handled Eusebio brilliantly that day. He didn’t let him settle on the ball, he was at his heels the whole time. There was an incident late in he game, almost at full time, when the big guy beat me in the air and knocked the ball down across the goal. Eusebio was coming in on the right and side – and Nobby Stiles just flew. I have never seen Nobby move so fast, and as Eusebio went to hit the ball Nobby tackled him. It was a certain
goal if Nobby hadn’t got there.”
The title is from Harry Pearson’s article: