A Legend Passes
Nat Lofthouse was Bolton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers was Nat Lofthouse. The two will always be inexorably linked.
For those that got to see him play he was one of the finest forwards that England ever produced with a goals per game ratio for the national side unmatched by anyone. For those of us too young to have seen him live, the black and white pictures of him bundling the ball and Harry Gregg into the Wembley net in the 1958 FA Cup Final are a testament, not only to a bygone age of football, but to a man that never gave up, even when it all seemed lost.
That people are talking of David Beckham receiving a knighthood when Nat never received the honour shows the way that football has become ever more skewed. Not that he would have ever complained about it, by all accounts. An honest man. A Bolton man. And one that will forever remain in our hearts as Bolton Wanderers supporters.
The least that the club should now do is erect a statue outside the ground in his memory to go along with the stand named after him. He probably wouldn’t have wanted it but it would be both a fitting memorial to the man and a reminder to those that support the club of a history that can so easily be forgotten today.
RIP Nat. You’ll never be forgotten.