Nat Lofthouse

Last updated

Nat Lofthouse
OBE
Nat-Lofthouse.jpeg
Personal information
Full name Nathaniel Lofthouse
Date of birth(1925-08-27)27 August 1925
Place of birth Bolton, England
Date of death 15 January 2011(2011-01-15) (aged 85)
Place of death Bolton, England
Height 5 ft 9.25 in (1.76 m) [1]
Position(s) Centre-forward
Youth career
1939–1946 Bolton Wanderers
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1946–1960 Bolton Wanderers 452 (255)
National team
1950–1958 [2] England 33 (30)
Teams managed
1968–1971 Bolton Wanderers
1985 Bolton Wanderers (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nathaniel Lofthouse OBE (27 August 1925 – 15 January 2011) was an English professional footballer who played as a forward for Bolton Wanderers for his entire career. He won 33 caps for England between 1950 and 1958, scoring 30 goals, with one of the highest goals-per-game ratios of any England player.

Contents

Playing career

Born in Bolton, Lancashire, in 1925, Lofthouse joined the town's main club on 4 September 1939 and made his debut in a wartime 5–1 win against Bury on 22 March 1941 when he scored two goals. It was then more than five years until he made his league debut for the club, but he eventually played against Chelsea on 31 August 1946, when he scored twice in a 4–3 defeat. Lofthouse would go on to play 33 games for England, but his debut on 22 November 1950 made him 25 when he finally broke into the team. He perhaps justified a claim to an earlier call-up by scoring both goals in a 2–2 draw against Yugoslavia at Highbury on his debut.

On 25 May 1952, Lofthouse earned the title 'Lion of Vienna' after scoring his second goal in England's 3–2 victory over Austria. [3] In doing so he was elbowed in the face, tackled from behind, and finally brought down by the goalkeeper. Back from national team duty, he then scored six goals in a game for the Football League against the Irish League on 24 September 1952.

In 1952–53, he was named FWA Footballer of the Year. He scored a goal – but was on the losing side – in the famous 1953 FA Cup Final (aka 'The Matthews Final'), having previously scored in each round. That season he topped the First Division goalscoring charts with 30 goals. He featured in the 1954 World Cup side. Lofthouse scored twice against Belgium in a match that ended 4–4. Injured for the next match, in the quarter final game against Uruguay he equalized in the 16th minute, after receiving the ball in the 18-yard box.[ which? ]

On 3 May 1958, almost five years to the day after losing the 1953 final, Lofthouse captained Bolton in the 1958 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. [3] There was a national wave of sympathy for United, who three months earlier had suffered grievously in the Munich air disaster. Bolton won the game 2–0 with Lofthouse scoring both goals, the second of which was highly controversial and remains a talking point to this day. [3] Lofthouse went into a challenge with the United keeper Harry Gregg and barged him into the net to score. [3] Shoulder charging the goalkeeper was a legitimate tactic at the time, but Lofthouse later admitted that his challenge was a foul. [3]

On 26 November 1958, Lofthouse made his final England appearance, against Wales, at the age of 33, and he officially retired from the game in January 1960 because of an ankle injury, although his final league game was not until 17 December of that year, when he suffered a knee injury against Birmingham City. Lofthouse stands seventh in the list of English football's top division goalscorers. [4]

Coaching and management

After retiring from playing football, Lofthouse became the assistant trainer at Burnden Park on 10 July 1961 and was then appointed chief coach at the club in 1967. In 1968, he spent a brief time as caretaker manager of the club and took over the job full-time on 18 December. Before becoming Bolton's chief scout, he became an administrative manager at Burnden. In 1978, he became the club's executive manager. In 1985, at the age of 60, Lofthouse became caretaker manager at the club again and became president in 1986.

Honours

Player

Bolton Wanderers

Individual

Recognition

Lofthouse was the recipient of various honours after retiring from the game. On 2 December 1989, he was made a Freeman of Bolton. On 1 January 1994, he was appointed an OBE and on 18 January 1997, Bolton decided to name their East Stand at their new Reebok Stadium after him. On 24 August 2013, a statue was dedicated. [9]

On 7 April 1993, he appeared as a special guest on the TV guest show This Is Your Life, in which the on-screen guests included Tom Finney and Harry Gregg, while others including Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Ian Rush appeared on screen to pay tribute to Lofthouse as they were unable to appear alongside Lofthouse due to other commitments. [10]

Tributes were paid to Lofthouse as he celebrated his 80th birthday, including a party at the Reebok. [11] A campaign, backed by Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association and former Bolton player, was started, aiming to get Lofthouse knighted. [12] Nat Lofthouse was an Inaugural Inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. [13]

Personal life

Already a Bolton Wanderers player having joined them in 1939 Lofthouse was conscripted in 1943 and worked in Mosley Common colliery as a Bevin Boy. [14] He married Alma Foster in 1947 and they remained married until her death in 1985. [15] They had two children, a son, Jeff, and a daughter, Vivien. [16]

Death

Lofthouse died on 15 January 2011, aged 85, in a nursing home in Bolton. [17] He had suffered with dementia. [18] On 24 January 2011 in Bolton Wanderers first home game since his death against Chelsea, a pre-match period of a minute's silence, thunderous applause, black-and-white footage of Lofthouse in action and the laying of floral tributes by Kevin Davies and John Terry took place before the start of the match. [19] Lofthouse was buried on 26 January 2011 as thousands turned out to say goodbye at Bolton Parish Church. His funeral service was attended by more than 500 invited guests and members of the public. Eulogies were offered by Bolton chairman Phil Gartside and Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, a boyhood Bolton fan and former Wanderers player. Former Bolton captain Kevin Davies and then manager Owen Coyle were among the pallbearers. [20]

Legacy

Lofthouse's statue outside the University of Bolton Stadium Nat Lofthouse statue.jpg
Lofthouse's statue outside the University of Bolton Stadium

Soon after Lofthouse's death a swell of support for a statue to be built in his memory started. A year to the day after his death, Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside announced plans for one to be built and for the statue to be situated outside the Reebok Stadium. The plan was for the statue to be funded by public donations, with help from the club. [21] It was unveiled on 24 August 2013, three days before what would have been Lofthouse's 88th birthday. It was originally scheduled to take place three days later on his birthday but the date was moved forward to coincide with Bolton's home fixture against Queens Park Rangers.

In April 1998, train operator Virgin CrossCountry named locomotive 47807 Lion of Vienna in Lofthouse's honour at Bolton station. [22]

Career statistics

International goals

#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
30.22 October 1958 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 5 – 05 – 0 Friendly
29.20 May 1956 Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, FinlandFlag of Finland.svg  Finland 1 – 51 – 5Friendly
28.20 May 1956Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, FinlandFlag of Finland.svg  Finland 1 – 41 – 5Friendly
27.2 October 1955 Københavns Idrætspark, Copenhagen, DenmarkFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 0 – 31 – 5Friendly
26.2 October 1955Københavns Idrætspark, Copenhagen, DenmarkFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 0 – 21 - 5Friendly
25.2 April 1955Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 4 – 17 – 2 1955 British Home Championship
24.2 April 1955Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 2 – 07 – 21955 British Home Championship
23.26 June 1954 St. Jakob Stadium, Basle, SwitzerlandFlag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 1 – 12 – 4 1954 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
22.17 June 1954St. Jakob Stadium, Basle, SwitzerlandFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 4 – 34 – 41954 FIFA World Cup group stage
21.17 June 1954St. Jakob Stadium, Basle, SwitzerlandFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2 – 14 – 41954 FIFA World Cup group stage
20.11 November 1953 Goodison Park, Liverpool, EnglandUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 3 – 13 – 1 1954 FIFA World Cup qualification
19.10 October 1953 Ninian Park, Cardiff, WalesFlag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales 1 – 41 – 41954 FIFA World Cup qualification & 1954 British Home Championship
18.10 October 1953Ninian Park, Cardiff, WalesFlag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales 1 – 31 – 41954 FIFA World Cup qualification & 1954 British Home Championship
17.8 June 1953 Polo Grounds, New York, United StatesFlag of the United States.svg  United States 0 – 43 – 6Friendly
16.8 June 1953Yankee Stadium, New York, United StatesFlag of the United States.svg  United States 0 – 23 – 6Friendly
15.24 May 1953 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 1 – 21 – 2Friendly
14.24 November 1952Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 5 – 05 – 0Friendly
13.24 November 1952Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2 – 05 – 0Friendly
12.12 November 1952Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 5 – 25 – 2 1953 British Home Championship
11.12 November 1952Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 2 – 05 – 21953 British Home Championship
10.4 October 1952 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern IrelandUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 0 – 12 – 21953 British Home Championship
9.28 May 1952 Hardturm, Zürich, SwitzerlandFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 0 – 30 – 3Friendly
8.28 May 1952Hardturm, Zürich, SwitzerlandFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 0 – 20 – 3Friendly
7.25 May 1952 Praterstadion, Vienna, AustriaFlag of Austria.svg  Austria 2 – 32 – 3Friendly
6.25 May 1952Praterstadion, Vienna, AustriaFlag of Austria.svg  Austria 0 – 12 – 3Friendly
5.28 November 1951Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Austria.svg  Austria 2 – 12 – 2Friendly
4.14 November 1951 Villa Park, Birmingham, EnglandUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 2 – 02 – 0 1952 British Home Championship
3.14 November 1951Villa Park, Birmingham, EnglandUlster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 1 – 02 – 01952 British Home Championship
2.22 November 1950 Highbury, London, EnglandFlag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia 2 – 02 – 2Friendly
1.22 November 1950Highbury, London, EnglandFlag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia 1 – 02 – 2Friendly

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References

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  2. "Nathaniel Lofthouse - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Obituary: Nat Lofthouse". BBC News . 16 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  4. White, Duncan (16 January 2011). "Bolton Wanderers and England legend Nat Lofthouse dies aged 85". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  5. "1958 – Man Utd's Brave Dream". FA Cup . BBC Sport. 10 May 2001. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  6. "1953 - The Matthews. Stanley Mathewshad his last chance to earn a winners medal. He did win the medal. The United lost emotion on the whole game at the end. final". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  7. "England List of FA Charity/Community Shield Matches". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  8. "Nat Lofthouse". National Football Museum. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  9. Tony Mason (January 2015). "Lofthouse, Nathaniel [Nat] (1925–2011)" . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/103522.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Bolton marks Lofthouse's birthday". The Manchester Evening News. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  12. "Bolton: Lofthouse knighthood call". The Manchester Evening News. 26 August 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  13. "Nat Lofthouse". Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  14. "Bolton's Bevin Boys remembered". bolton.gov.uk. 13 July 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  15. Glanville, Brian (16 January 2011). "Nat Lofthouse Obituary". The guardian. London. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  16. "A Message From The Lofthouse Family". bwfc.co.uk. 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  17. "Bolton legend Nat Lofthouse dies at 85". BBC Sport. 16 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  18. Liew, Jonathan (30 December 2016). "11 football greats who have suffered with dementia" via telegraph.co.uk.
  19. Winter, Henry (24 January 2011). "Bolton Wanderers 0 Chelsea 4: match report". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  20. "Mourners hail Nat Lofthouse as 'credit to Bolton'". BBC News. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  21. "Nat Lofthouse — Statue Announcement". Bolton Wanderers. 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  22. Virgin honours footballer Nat Lofthouse The Railway Magazine issue 1167 July 1998 page 67