Charlton leads Lofthouse tributes

Published Add your comment

Football News

Legend, leader and loyal are just three of the words employed to describe Nat Lofthouse following his death on Saturday night, he was aged 85.

The 'Lion of Vienna', who scored a phenomenal tally of 30 goals in 33 appearances for England, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his nursing home.

Reflecting on the man and player, close friend Sir Bobby Charlton said: "He was a leader, he had fantastic ability in the air, and he was strong, but he was also a talisman. I played four or five games with England at the end of his career and I felt he was the one who was in charge, he was the leader."

He added: "I'm really sorry, and anybody in this part of the world will be very sorry he isn't with us any more because he was a fantastic credit to the game."

Aside from being a robust, strong, powerful forward, Lofthouse will predominantly be remembered for being a one-club man, rare in this day and age given the liberal movement of players between clubs.

Lofthouse played for his hometown club Bolton between 1946 and 1960 before retiring from the game with a knee injury, playing more than 500 matches in which he scored 255 league goals and a further 30 in cup competitions.

He earned the sobriquet 'Lion of Vienna' following his performance in England's 3-2 win over Austria in 1952 when he scored the winner despite being elbowed in the face, tackled from behind and brought down by the goalkeeper.

The other match for which he was synonymous was the 1958 FA Cup final when he scored twice in Bolton's 2-0 victory over Manchester United, controversially barging goalkeeper Harry Gregg into the net in the process of scoring one of his goals.

He belonged to a golden generation of England players along with the likes of Sir Tom Finney and Sir Stanley Matthews whose time came before the 1966 World Cup success.

"You have to put him in with those two great players," added Charlton. "You just put the ball in there at any height and he was so brave. He just scored phenomenal goals in the air. He was a great player without any question."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Nat Lofthouse
League One
Bolton Wanderers
Tom Finney
Manchester United
Bobby Charlton
FA Cup
Stanley Matthews
Charlton Athletic

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again