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Nathaniel Lofthouse, OBE (born 27 August 1925), better known as Nat Lofthouse, is a retired Englishmarker footballer who played for Bolton Wanderers for his whole career. He was capped 33 times for the England national football team between 1950 and 1958, scoring 30 goals and giving himself one of the greatest goals-per-game ratios of any player to represent England at the highest level.

Playing career

Born in Boltonmarker, Lancashiremarker, 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 Highburymarker on his debut.

On 25 May 1952, Lofthouse earned the title 'Lion of Viennamarker' by scoring twice in England's 3-2 victory over Austria. 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. On 22 October 1958, Lofthouse broke Vivian Woodward's 47-year-old England goalscoring record by netting his 30th goal in a 5-0 win against the Soviet Union in Londonmarker.

FA Cup controversy

On 3 May 1958, almost five years to the day after losing the 1953 final, Lofthouse captained Bolton in the 1958 FA Cup Final against Manchester United, who three months earlier had been involved in the Munich air disastermarker. Against a national wave of sympathy for United, Bolton won the game 2-0 with Lofthouse scoring two goals, the second of which was highly controversial and remains a talking point to this day. Lofthouse went into a challenge with the United keeper Harry Gregg and barged him into the net to score as shoulder charging the goalkeeper was a legitimate tactic at the time.

End of playing career

On 26 November 1958, Lofthouse made his final England appearance, against Wales, at the age of 33, and he officially retired from the game in January 1960 because of an ankle injury, although his final league game wasn't until 17 December of that year, when he suffered a knee injury against Birmingham.

Coaching and management

After retiring from playing football, Lofthouse became the assistant trainer at Burnden Parkmarker on 10 July 1961 and was then appointed chief coach at the club in 1967. In 1968, he spent a brief time as caretaker manager of the club and took over the job full-time on 18 December. Before becoming Bolton's chief scout, he became an administrative manager at Burnden. In 1978, he became the club's executive manager. In 1985, at the age of 60, Lofthouse became caretaker manager at the club again and became president in 1986.

Honours

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 Stadiummarker after him.

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.

Miscellaneous

'The Lion of Vienna' is a well known Bolton pub, named in honour of Nat Lofthouse. The pub is situated on Chorley New Road, opposite Bolton Schoolmarker.

The British actor Sean Maguire was rumoured to have been hired to play Lofthouse in a film adaptation of the book Wartime Wanderers, a book about Bolton Wanderers players' efforts during World War II. But the film was never made because of a lack of finance.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
30. 22 October 1958 Wembley Stadiummarker, Londonmarker, Englandmarker
5 – 0
5 – 0
Friendly
29. 20 May 1956 Helsinki Olympic Stadiummarker, Helsinkimarker, Finlandmarker
?
?
1 – 5
Friendly
28. 20 May 1956 Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland
?
?
1 – 5
Friendly
27. 2 October 1955 Parken Stadiummarker, Copenhagenmarker, Denmarkmarker
0 – 3
1 – 5
Friendly
26. 2 October 1955 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
0 – 2
1 – 5
Friendly
25. 2 April 1955 Wembley Stadium, London, England
4 – 1
7 – 2
British Home Championship
24. 2 April 1955 Wembley Stadium, London, England
2 – 0
7 – 2
British Home Championship
23. 26 June 1954 St. Jakob Stadiummarker, Baslemarker, Switzerlandmarker
1 – 1
2 – 4
1954 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
22. 17 June 1954 St. Jakob Stadium, Basle, Switzerland
4 – 3
4 – 4
1954 FIFA World Cup group stage
21. 17 June 1954 St. Jakob Stadium, Basle, Switzerland
2 – 1
4 – 4
1954 FIFA World Cup group stage
20. 11 November 1953 Goodison Parkmarker, Liverpoolmarker, England
3 – 1
3 – 1
1954 FIFA World Cup qualification
19. 10 October 1953 Ninian Parkmarker, Cardiffmarker, Walesmarker
1 – 4
1 – 4
1954 FIFA World Cup qualification & British Home Championship
18. 10 October 1953 Ninian Park, Cardiff, Wales
1 – 3
1 – 4
1954 FIFA World Cup qualification & British Home Championship
17. 8 June 1953 Polo Groundsmarker, New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker
0 – 4
3 – 6
Friendly
16. 8 June 1953 Polo Grounds, New York, United States
0 – 2
3 – 6
Friendly
15. 24 May 1953 Estadio Nacional de Chilemarker, Santiagomarker, Chilemarker
1 – 2
1 – 2
Friendly
14. 24 November 1952 Wembley Stadium, London, England
5 – 0
5 – 0
Friendly
13. 24 November 1952 Wembley Stadium, London, England
2 – 0
5 – 0
Friendly
12. 12 November 1952 Wembley Stadium, London, England
5 – 2
5 – 2
British Home Championship
11. 12 November 1952 Wembley Stadium, London, England
2 – 0
5 – 2
British Home Championship
10. 4 October 1952 Windsor Parkmarker, Belfastmarker, Northern Irelandmarker
?
?
2 – 2
British Home Championship
9. 28 May 1952 Hardturmmarker, Zürichmarker, Switzerland
0 – 3
0 – 3
Friendly
8. 28 May 1952 Hardturm, Zürich, Switzerland
0 – 2
0 – 3
Friendly
7. 25 May 1952 Ernst-Happel-Stadionmarker, Viennamarker, Austriamarker
2 – 3
2 – 3
Friendly
6. 25 May 1952 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria
0 – 1
2 – 3
Friendly
5. 28 November 1951 Wembley Stadium, London, England
2 – 1
2 – 2
Friendly
4. 14 November 1951 Villa Parkmarker, Birminghammarker, England
2 – 0
2 – 0
British Home Championship
3. 14 November 1951 Villa Park, Birmingham, England
1 – 0
2 – 0
British Home Championship
2. 22 November 1950 Highburymarker, London, England
2 – 0
2 – 2
Friendly
1. 22 November 1950 Highbury, London, England
1 – 0
2 – 2
Friendly


References

  1. Nat Lofthouse on the silver screen. Manny Road, 10 October 2008.
  2. Wartime Wanderers film faces cash KO. This Is Lancashire, April 17 1997.



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