ENGLAND football legend Nobby Stiles has died aged 78.
The ex-Manchester United midfielder has passed away after a long illness, his family said.
Stiles had been battling Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia for 18 years and had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012.
His family said in a statement: "The Stiles family are sad to announce that Nobby Stiles passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family after a long illness.
"The family kindly ask for privacy at this sad time."
Ex-England legend Gary Lineker paid tribute to Stiles today saying. “Saddened to hear that Nobby Stiles has passed away.
"Another of our 1966 World Cup winning heroes leaves us. He had a heart that was even bigger than the gap in his teeth. RIP Nobby.”
Stiles was an important member of the 1966 World Cup winning team.
He was famous for dancing on the Wembley turf after England beat West Germany 4-2.
But the tough-tackling midfielder started his career at Old Trafford, signing for Manchester United in 1959 – a year after the Munich air disaster.
He would go on tom play 311 times for the Red Devils – winning league titles in 1965 and 67 before winning the European Cup in 1968.
In beating Benfica in the final at Wembley, Stiles and his teammates became the first English club to win the coveted trophy.
He later went on to play for Middlesbrough between 1971-73 and Preston North End from 1973-75 before retiring from the game.
Stiles from international duty with 28 England caps.
After hanging up his boots he went into coaching and managed Preston, Vancouver Whitecaps and West Brom.
Sadly his health deteriorated in his later years.
His son Rob described the footballer's heartbreaking struggle with Alzheimer's disease in 2017.
Rob said: "He’s not aware of anything. We’ve been told he’s in the final stages but you just don’t know how long it goes on for.
“You can go one day where you think he’s going to die, then the next day he’s fairly alert. He’s very bad now.”
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