It is with great sadness and regret that we have to announce the passing of the greatest Bolton Wanderers football player Nat Lofthouse OBE
Nat peacefully passed away at the age of 85 our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
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. 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 between the English Football League and the Irish League on 24 September 1952.
In 1953, he was declared English Footballer of the Year and on 2 May that year, he scored a goal – but was on the losing side – in the famous FA Cup Final of 1953 (aka 'The Matthews Final'), having previously scored in each round. That season he topped the First Division goalscoring charts with 30 goals.
Lofthouse has been the recipient of various honours since retiring from the game. On 2 December 1989, he was made a Freeman of Bolton. On 1 January 1994, he received an OBE and on 18 January 1997, Bolton decided to name their East Stand at their new Reebok Stadium after him.
On 7 April 1993, he appeared as a special guest on the TV guest show This Is Your Life.
Tributes were paid to Nat as he celebrated his 80th birthday, including a party at the Reebok. A campaign, backed by Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association and former Bolton player, has started, aiming to get Nat Lofthouse knighted. Nat Lofthouse was an Inaugural Inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002
Member since: 16th January 2011
Local Boltonian who loves Bolton Wanderers and my home town.
In 2011 will be organizing afew events and all proceeds will go to Kids of Bolton a charity setup by Emma and Kevin Davies,
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