England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles has died at the age of 78, his family have announced.
Stiles, who was also a key part of Manchester United’s European Cup success in 1968, passed away following a long illness.
Stiles was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 while he also suffered from advanced dementia.
The former defensive midfielder also spent time with Middlesbrough and Preston during his playing days, while managing West Brom.
Stiles joined United as a teenager in 1960 and made more than 300 appearances for the club.
He was an integral part of the England squad that won the World Cup in 1966, playing every minute for Sir Alf Ramsey’s side.
Stiles becomes the third member of that victorious Three Lions team to pass away in 2020 after Jack Charlton and Norman Hunter.
Tributes flew in on social media for Stiles with Gary Lineker among the first to pay his respects.
The Match of the Day host wrote: “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.”
While Peter Reid simply added: “Nobby Stiles RIP”.
The statement by Stiles’ family read: "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.”
Former Manchester United man Danny Higginbotham added: “Such sad news to hear that Nobby Stiles has passed away.
Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Well then sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
How do you sign up?
It only takes a matter of seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.
And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.
You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.
“I know he was ill for a while but doesn’t take away the shock. He was my coach as a kid @ManUtd and what an unbelievably humble human being.
“A massive influence on myself as a youngster. Thoughts and love with his family.”
While Chris Sutton added: “Such sad news about Nobby Stiles. A World Cup winner and one of the games great characters lost to Alzheimer’s. Thoughts go out to the Stiles family.
“Eventually football will wake up show some real urgency in the fight against Dementia and Alzheimer’s.”