Home Sport JOHNNY GILES: Nobby Stiles was one of life's good guys, a gentleman

JOHNNY GILES: Nobby Stiles was one of life's good guys, a gentleman


JOHNNY GILES: Nobby Stiles was one of life’s good guys, a gentleman. In over 60 years of friendship we only ever had one cross-word – when Leeds beat Man United in an FA Cup semi-final replay he told me to ‘f**k off’!

  • England and Manchester United legend Nobby Stiles has died at the age of 78 
  • Stiles was a member of the Three Lions’ World Cup-winning squad from 1966 
  • A flood of tributes have been penned to pay respect to the iconic midfielder 
  • Leeds legend Johnny Giles told Sportsmail all about his brilliant brother-in-law 

Nobby Stiles, a member of the England team which lifted the World Cup in 1966, has died aged 78.  

The legendary midfielder was also part of the Manchester United side which won the European Cup two years later after beating Benfica.  

Here, Leeds legend Johnny Giles tells Sportsmail‘s Craig Hope about his brilliant brother-in-law…

Leeds legend Johnny Giles has paid a touching tribute to Nobby Stiles after his death aged 78

Leeds legend Johnny Giles has paid a touching tribute to Nobby Stiles after his death aged 78

Nobby Stiles was married to my sister, Kay, and she didn’t half pick a good ‘un.

Myself and Nobby were young players at Manchester United when I brought him over to Dublin for a two-week holiday.

I was living with Nobby and his parents at the time. When we returned to Manchester these letters kept arriving with a Dublin postmark. I thought they were for me but then noticed they were addressed to Nobby.

‘Who’s your pen pal?’ I asked him.

Stiles won the World Cup with England in 1966 and is pictured above holding aloft his medal

Stiles won the World Cup with England in 1966 and is pictured above holding aloft his medal

Giles (above) was Stiles' brother-in-law and recalls some of his fondest memories with the icon

Giles (above) was Stiles’ brother-in-law and recalls some of his fondest memories with the icon

‘It’s your sister, Kay,’ he said.

I had no idea! I called him a sneaky little bugger and we had a good laugh about it. Honestly, I was blessed to have Nobby as my brother-in-law.

He was one of life’s good guys, a gentleman. In more than 60 years as friends we only ever had one cross-word, and that was when Leeds beat United in an FA Cup semi-final replay in 1965. 

Stiles was also a member of the Manchester United team which won the European Cup in 1968

Stiles was also a member of the Manchester United team which won the European Cup in 1968

I went to shake his hand after the game – Nobby hated losing – and he told me to ‘f*** off’! I said to him, ‘I’ll tell Kay about you’. But I never did. I was one of the few players he never kicked, because he knew Kay wouldn’t be happy.

But what a player. Bobby Charlton loved him because Nobby would win it and give it to him. That was Nobby, humble enough to know his strengths.

I maybe shouldn’t admit this as an Irishman, but I was cheering Nobby and the likes of Big Jack Charlton on the day they won the World Cup.

Giles has admitted he was cheering on Stiles (right) and his team-mates for the Wembley final

Giles has admitted he was cheering on Stiles (right) and his team-mates for the Wembley final

I loved Nobby. And how he loved my sister, idolised her. My wife, Anne, would say to me, ‘Nobby would do anything for Kay. He makes the tea, does the hoovering, washing-up’. I used to cut her off… ‘Don’t get any ideas about me changing!’. He used to show me up in that regard.

I last saw him at a family birthday in Dublin last year. He wasn’t in a good way. He couldn’t talk. But Kay said, on the day, he knew he was in company. She knew by his eyes, he felt like he had that security around him.

And he always had that, because everyone bloody loved him.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

What can be done about a 'clicky' ear? DR MARTIN SCURR answers your health questions

Twice a day for a few hours my husband’s right ear ‘clicks’, affecting his hearing and his voice. When he lies down, this seems to...

China has 8 million blind people, but only 200 guide dogs

Yang splits his time between living in Beijing with his wife and running a piano studio in his hometown Tangshan, a sprawling industrial...

England cuts traveler quarantine period to five days

(CNN) — England is drastically reducing its quarantine period for people arriving from most destinations in a move that will potentially throw open...

Recent Comments