Sport news IAN HERBERT: Nobby Stiles never wanted a fuss as he battled valiantly with Alzheimer's and dementia... but the 1966 England World Cup winner was failed by football as he and his family struggled to find their way Metinews.com
MetiNews.Com - DEPUTY CHIEF SPORTS WRITER: The need for a helping hand and - though the Stiles family would never say so - a little help with respite care was blindingly obvious as he struggled by the end.
Breaking News ! Nobby Stiles never wanted a fuss, so it was with modesty and reserve that his family patiently and precisely described the way that football had done so precious little to help him through the desperate struggles of his fading years.Stiles had been doing battle with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia for 15 years by then, to the extent that his mind had become terribly frayed and visits to his modest semi-detached house on Kings Road in Stretford were not easy, if he was having one of his bad days. One of Bobby Charlton's visits to his old friend was particularly distressing for both of them. In time, Stiles just could not could bring himself to see people. Nobby Stiles' family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), were failed by football as he was given little help from the game as he battled with Alzheimer's until his death on Friday Stiles, who died aged 78, was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966The need for a helping hand and – though the Stiles family would never say so – a little help with respite care was blindingly obvious. When the FA got in touch in 2016, the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup triumph, to say they were aware a number of Sir Alf Ramsey's team were not so well, the family admitted that things had not been so easy. There was a bleak follow-up phone call from the governing body, in which Stiles wife Kay was told that there was a means tested scheme, with an application form if she wanted to fill it in and apply for money. She declined.Stiles was not aware of this. The illness had robbed him of the mere capacity to speak, let alone read letters, though there were fragments of the old sense of humour so loved by Charlton, Shay Brennan and David Herd: the 'Big Four' as they ironically called themselves. Amid the struggle to recall who he'd spoken to just five minutes earlier, Stiles once grinned at his son, Rob. 'I make new friends every day,' he told him. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next 'A heart bigger than the gap in his teeth': Gary Lineker and... England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles dies, aged 78, after... What became of the Boys of '66? As football pays tribute to... JEFF POWELL: Blunt but beloved Jack Charlton, the colossus... Share this article Share The expressions of support and regret flowed on Friday night from the Professional Footballers' Association and Stiles' beloved Manchester United. But neither were there for him, either, when he was on his uppers, struggling and trying to find a way after the glories of his playing days.There had been virtually no communication from United after Stiles left a coaching role in 1993. He inquired about tickets once, wanting to accompany his granddaughter, Caitlin, to her first Old Trafford match, against Liverpool on her birthday in 2009. He was told he must pay full price. Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup There was a request from United to film and do interviews when the street next to the school he attended – St Patrick's Primary in Collyhurst – was renamed as Nobby Stiles Drive. Stiles' wife was disinclined to grant that request. One of the very few other occasions when they had been in touch was to request Stiles to do a dinner for them, for free.To hear all this – and then learn of the family's deep unhappiness that the PFA did so little to advance an understanding of the links between heading a football and dementia in Stiles' lifetime - makes the blood boil, though United could do no wrong in his eyes.He shed tears in 2010 when announcing he would be auctioning his World Cup medal and the shirt from the final worn by the late Alan Ball, which he swapped for his own at the final whistle. 'I have had a bit of bad time and I want to leave something for my family,' he said at that time.Perhaps it took the perspective of decades to appreciate what Stiles represented, because one piece of correspondence from one of the modern United generation meant a lot to him and his family amid the struggle. Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966. By the end, Stiles found it hard to have friends visit due to his Alzheimer's It was a card from Wayne Rooney, written out by the player after Stiles' sons had made his condition public in 2015 and asked for privacy as they tried to help their mother.No regrets, Stiles would have said. Football was a great life to have lived. In the depths of his struggles his son, Rob, located a supply of DVDs of the old United games in which the Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton relied on Stiles to flush out opposition danger. And to their astonishment, he responded. 'Great player, son, great player,' Stiles said of Peter Osgood, prominent for Chelsea on one of the tapes. 'We had a job dealing with him.' WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOYS OF ENGLAND'S GREATEST TRIUMPH? Gordon Banks - Finest English keeper of all time, who played mostly for Leicester City and Stoke City as well as a spell in the United States.
.George Cohen - Hailed as 'the greatest full back I ever played against' by George Best. A one club man for Fulham, where has a statue after making 459 appearances. The 81-year-old is one of four members of the team still alive.Jack Charlton - Brother of Sir Bobby and a star defender in his own right, he played only for Leeds United in his career. Went into management and took Republic of Ireland to the knockout stages in two World Cups. Passed away in July this year at the age of 85.Bobby Moore - Peerless defender and captain of England considered the greatest ball-playing centre-half in history. Tragically died aged just 51 in 1993 due to bowel cancer. He was the first of the 1966 team to pass away. There is still great upset that he was never knighted.Ray Wilson - At 32, Huddersfield's most capped England international was also the oldest member of the team that beat West Germany 4-2 in the final on July 30. He died in May 2018 aged 83 after suffering with Alzheimer's disease for 14 years.Nobby Stiles - His toothless dance after victory at Wembley has become iconic in English football, as were his ferocious midfield displays. The Manchester United mainstay passed away after battling Alzheimer's.Alan Ball - Was the youngest member and man of the match in the 1966 final but sold his winners medal to provide for his family - like eight of the 11 players did. Played for 13 clubs before transitioning into management. Died of a heart attack in 2007 at the age of just 61 while trying to put out a blaze. Sir Bobby Charlton - Survived the Munich Air Disaster before helping England to win first the World Cup. With his majestic left foot and crucial 1966 goals, many have said he may be the greatest footballer England has ever produced. Still working at Manchester United at the age of 83. Martin Peters - Scorer of the second goal in the final. Started a second career in insurance in 1984 following 67 caps for the national team and spells with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich. Died on 21 December 2019, aged 76. Sir Geoff Hurst - Still the only player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Sir Geoff was part of an army of West Ham players who dominated the 1966 England team. Knighted in 1998, the 78-year-old is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife Judith. Roger Hunt - One of Liverpool's greatest-ever players, Hunt joined his family's haulage company after retiring from playing in 1972. After being overlooked for years, he was made MBE along with Ball, Cohen, Stiles and Wilson in 2000 after a campaign to recognise their achievements in 1966. Now lives in Warrington, aged 82.Sir Alf Ramsey - National hero and mastermind behind the team of 'wingless wonders', the manager had predicted England would win the 1966 World Cup when he took the helm in 1963. Lost his job after failing to qualify for 1974 World Cup and retired in 1980 to a quiet life in Ipswich. Died following a heart attack in 1999, aged 79.
RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next 'A heart bigger than the gap in his teeth': Gary Lineker and... England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles dies, aged 78, after... What became of the Boys of '66? As football pays tribute to... JEFF POWELL: Blunt but beloved Jack Charlton, the colossus...
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