Bobby Charlton leads tributes to Nat Lofthouse

17 January 2011 01:10

Leader: Lofthouse died at the age of 85 on Saturday

Legend , leader and loyal were just three of the words used to describe Nat Lofthouse following his death at the age of 85 on Saturday.

Sir Bobby Charlton led the tributes to the Bolton and England centre forward, saying: 'He was a leader, he had fantastic ability in the air and he was strong. In those days, if you were a centre forward, you had to do more than score goals. You had to lead. You had to be tough.

'It was a hard game then. It wasn't like today, it was so tough. The pitches were bad, the ball was heavy, the equipment was awful but Nat Lofthouse loved the game of football. He was ever so proud to be a part of it. He was a great player without any question.'

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside also paid tribute to the local Bolton lad who was given £10 as his signing-on fee in 1939.

'He was a one-club man and our football club meant as much to him as he did to us,' said Gartside.

Respect: Charlton (right) said Lofthouse (left) was a 'great player'

Bolton are planning a minute's silence or applause at their next match a week on Monday at home to Chelsea, against whom Lofthouse made his debut 65 years ago.

England may also wear black armbands in tribute when they face Denmark in a friendly on February 9.

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Source: Daily_Mail