Lofthouse's funeral is a sad moment for all of England, says Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said yesterday that he expects football supporters throughout England to feel a sense of sadness when Nat Lofthouse is laid to rest today.

Players past and present as well as leading figures in the game's administration will attend the legendary striker's funeral and thanksgiving service at Bolton Parish Church before a private committal.

Coyle, who now manages the club Lofthouse used to play for, said: "I was very fortunate and privileged to have met not just a footballing great but a terrific man, a very humble man. He will be sadly missed by everyone at the club and I suggest everyone in England. He was so patriotic about playing for his country.

"It is important that while there is a sadness we remember everything Nat Lofthouse did bring, not only to Bolton Wanderers but to football. I will always remember him with a smile on my face."

On Monday night, Bolton fans paid homage to Lofthouse, who died on 15 January at the age of 85, at their home match with Chelsea when a minute's silence was immaculately observed.

Club captain Kevin Davies and his opposite number John Terry laid floral tributes in front of the Nat Lofthouse stand. It was a humbling experience for England defender Terry. "I was asked on Thursday and it was a pleasure and a real honour for me to lay the wreath with Kevin and pay my respects," he said. "Nat Lofthouse was not only a legend here but all over the country."

Lofthouse scored 255 goals for Bolton between 1946 and 1960. He represented England 33 times, hitting the target 30 times and became widely known as the "Lion of Vienna" after his performance in a 3-2 win against Austria in 1952.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association and a former Wanderers player, will both give readings at Lofthouse's funeral service.

Gartside added: "The club has been inundated by messages of condolence not only from our own supporters but those from clubs around the country and football enthusiasts from all over the globe.

"It has been very apparent over the last week just how highly respected Nat was in the world of sport.

"We will miss him and mourn his passing but we will never forget him. He has left us great memories of great times."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk