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Daniel Sturridge reveals he would spend ‘any amount’ trying to get body to withstand injuries which have blighted career

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daniel sturridge reveals he would spend any amount trying to get body to withstand injuries which have blighted career

DANIEL STURRIDGE says he would spend “any amount” of money to get his body to withstand the injuries that have ruined his career.

Sturridge has seen fitness problems blight a career which saw him shine at Chelsea and Liverpool and made him an automatic pick for England at his peak.

Daniel Sturridge has been back in the gym working on his fitness
Daniel Sturridge has been back in the gym working on his fitness
The 31-year-old's career has been blighted by injuries
The 31-year-old’s career has been blighted by injuries

And the 31-year-old admits he has even thrown his own cash at trying to strengthen himself in a bid to stay playing at the highest level.

Sturridge said: “I saw a quote from Marco Reus the other day which said he’d pay any amount of money to just play injury free and never be injured. And honestly, I’d do the same.

“You know, I would. I would pay any amount of money.

“I’d spend loads of money outside of the physios at work to do extra stuff to ensure that I can be as healthy as possible.

“Hundreds of thousands, to be fair, you know, to make sure that my body has to be in the best shape possible.

“And sometimes, you can do, you can put the hours in, you can do everything. But sometimes it is just luck.”

Sturridge is hoping to find a way back into football having left Turkish side Trabzonspor earlier this year.

Fitness worries have put some managers off from giving him a chance in the past, but the striker is comfortable no matter what happens from now on he knows he has done everything possible to stay in the game.

Sturridge hit his peak while playing for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers

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Sturridge hit his peak while playing for Liverpool under Brendan RodgersCredit: Getty – Contributor
The England striker last had a short stint with Trabzonspor

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The England striker last had a short stint with TrabzonsporCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Speaking to the Between the Lines podcast, he added: “The toughest thing is just the mental side of things because, you know you’ve given your all, you know you slept well, you know you ate well, you know you’ve got the treatment that you need to get.

“Everything in your mind. You’ve done everything – those small one per cents.

“And when you go through an injury the mental side of it is very tough because, if you’re not strong mentally, injuries will continue to break you and continue to send you down a dark path.

“I fortunately always was able to stay focused, always was able to continue to move forward and say, you know what, I’ve picked up a little bit of a knock, but I’ll be back in this time. I’ll be out on the pitch again.

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“I’ve been someone who’s played on injuries too and put my body on the line for the team on countless, countless occasions.

“I remember having a muscle strain and we played against Man United for Liverpool at home. We won 1-0 and I scored a header. And nobody knew this but before the match, I had a quad strain, I knew I was injured and the team knew I was injured, but I put my body on the line.

“I’ve always put my body through everything to put the shirt on for the team, because it’s what I love.”

You can listen to the full interview with Daniel Sturridge in the third episode of ‘Between The Lines with Melissa Reddy’ now – available here.

Daniel Sturridge training with EIGHTH-TIER Kidsgrove Athletic to keep fit in transfer hunt – with Sheff Utd interested

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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MARTIN SAMUEL: Nobby Stiles was the everyman of England’s World Cup winning heroes

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martin samuel nobby stiles was the everyman of englands world cup winning heroes

Nobby Stiles’ father was an undertaker, and as a young man his son arrived to sign his first Manchester United contract in a hearse. Sadly but inevitably, he will leave the same way, a victim of the dementia that has stricken so many contemporaries.

‘You ended up belonging to everyone,’ Stiles once said, reflecting on a life spent as a member of England’s most celebrated XI. And, in many ways, more than any man in the team, he did.

Stiles was the everyman, the common denominator. He wasn’t the player who scored the hat-trick in a World Cup final, he wasn’t the captain, or the best technician. He didn’t play like a star, and most certainly did not look like one. 

Nobby Stiles didn't play or look like a star but he was adored as part of the 1966 England team

Nobby Stiles didn't play or look like a star but he was adored as part of the 1966 England team

Nobby Stiles didn’t play or look like a star but he was adored as part of the 1966 England team 

Stiles (second from left on back row) was the most relatable member of the England team that won their first and only World Cup after beating West Germany 4-2 back in 1966

Stiles (second from left on back row) was the most relatable member of the England team that won their first and only World Cup after beating West Germany 4-2 back in 1966

Stiles (second from left on back row) was the most relatable member of the England team that won their first and only World Cup after beating West Germany 4-2 back in 1966

‘A half-blind dwarf who was bombed by the Germans and run over by a trolley bus when he was one,’ was his self-penned description. Yet that is what made Stiles special. 

He was of the people, the most relatable member of a World Cup winning team, with his thinning hair, gap-toothed winning smile, his socks rolled down to his ankles. Even the name: Norbert. It is a matter for debate whether English football makes players like Stiles anymore; but it certainly doesn’t make Norberts.

Stiles didn’t look much like an athlete, either, but he was so much more than just the cold-blooded destroyer of popular legend. 

His job, most famously performed in 1966 against Eusebio, was to shut the opposition’s best player out of the game. Yet to do that, Stiles had to read it. And, if successful, he had to pick the pass, usually to Bobby Charlton, if he could be found. And it is testament to Stiles’ quick thinking that, more often than not, he could. 

Stiles (far right) was picked out by coach Sir Alf Ramsey (middle) as a world class player

Stiles (far right) was picked out by coach Sir Alf Ramsey (middle) as a world class player

Stiles (far right) was picked out by coach Sir Alf Ramsey (middle) as a world class player 

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was not just a hitman. He played in the heart of the action and knew the game well enough to lift this country’s only World Cup and its first European Cup, with Manchester United. No player could survive in that company armed with little more than a snarl. 

Sir Alf Ramsey told Sir Alex Ferguson that his 1966 team contained five genuinely world class players – and listed Stiles as one of them.

He took that intelligence into coaching, too. Not management, necessarily, because the clubs he steered were not of the highest quality. But he produced players. 

Among the tributes on Friday was one from Mark Lawrenson, arguably the finest centre-half from an era when Liverpool dominated. 

Lawrenson was signed by Bob Paisley, and also won titles with Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish. The coach he credited with making him a player at Preston, though, was Stiles. And those coaching smarts were sufficiently valued for Stiles to be part of Manchester United’s youth set-up from 1989 to 1993, the era that produced an exceptional batch of players. 

Stiles (middle) was so much more than just the cold-blooded destroyer of popular legend

Stiles (middle) was so much more than just the cold-blooded destroyer of popular legend

Stiles (middle) was so much more than just the cold-blooded destroyer of popular legend

Mark Lawrenson was among those to pay tribute on Friday and he picked out Stiles' influence as the biggest on his playing career during their time working together at Preston North End

Mark Lawrenson was among those to pay tribute on Friday and he picked out Stiles' influence as the biggest on his playing career during their time working together at Preston North End

Mark Lawrenson was among those to pay tribute on Friday and he picked out Stiles’ influence as the biggest on his playing career during their time working together at Preston North End

‘You taught us to fight for everything in that red shirt,’ wrote Gary Neville. 

David Beckham recalled Stiles’ wisdom carrying special weight as a World Cup winner. 

‘Your studs are your best friends out there,’ was the phrase Neville most clearly remembered. 

So he wasn’t Pep Guardiola. He was rightly respected by his young charges, though, whose indomitable spirit was also never in question.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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JOHNNY GILES: Nobby Stiles was one of life’s good guys, a gentleman

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johnny giles nobby stiles was one of lifes good guys a gentleman

Nobby Stiles, a member of the England team which lifted the World Cup in 1966, has died aged 78.  

The legendary midfielder was also part of the Manchester United side which won the European Cup two years later after beating Benfica.  

Here, Leeds legend Johnny Giles tells Sportsmail‘s Craig Hope about his brilliant brother-in-law…

Leeds legend Johnny Giles has paid a touching tribute to Nobby Stiles after his death aged 78

Leeds legend Johnny Giles has paid a touching tribute to Nobby Stiles after his death aged 78

Leeds legend Johnny Giles has paid a touching tribute to Nobby Stiles after his death aged 78

Nobby Stiles was married to my sister, Kay, and she didn’t half pick a good ‘un.

Myself and Nobby were young players at Manchester United when I brought him over to Dublin for a two-week holiday.

I was living with Nobby and his parents at the time. When we returned to Manchester these letters kept arriving with a Dublin postmark. I thought they were for me but then noticed they were addressed to Nobby.

‘Who’s your pen pal?’ I asked him.

Stiles won the World Cup with England in 1966 and is pictured above holding aloft his medal

Stiles won the World Cup with England in 1966 and is pictured above holding aloft his medal

Stiles won the World Cup with England in 1966 and is pictured above holding aloft his medal

Giles (above) was Stiles' brother-in-law and recalls some of his fondest memories with the icon

Giles (above) was Stiles' brother-in-law and recalls some of his fondest memories with the icon

Giles (above) was Stiles’ brother-in-law and recalls some of his fondest memories with the icon

‘It’s your sister, Kay,’ he said.

I had no idea! I called him a sneaky little bugger and we had a good laugh about it. Honestly, I was blessed to have Nobby as my brother-in-law.

He was one of life’s good guys, a gentleman. In more than 60 years as friends we only ever had one cross-word, and that was when Leeds beat United in an FA Cup semi-final replay in 1965. 

Stiles was also a member of the Manchester United team which won the European Cup in 1968

Stiles was also a member of the Manchester United team which won the European Cup in 1968

Stiles was also a member of the Manchester United team which won the European Cup in 1968

I went to shake his hand after the game – Nobby hated losing – and he told me to ‘f*** off’! I said to him, ‘I’ll tell Kay about you’. But I never did. I was one of the few players he never kicked, because he knew Kay wouldn’t be happy.

But what a player. Bobby Charlton loved him because Nobby would win it and give it to him. That was Nobby, humble enough to know his strengths.

I maybe shouldn’t admit this as an Irishman, but I was cheering Nobby and the likes of Big Jack Charlton on the day they won the World Cup.

Giles has admitted he was cheering on Stiles (right) and his team-mates for the Wembley final

Giles has admitted he was cheering on Stiles (right) and his team-mates for the Wembley final

Giles has admitted he was cheering on Stiles (right) and his team-mates for the Wembley final

I loved Nobby. And how he loved my sister, idolised her. My wife, Anne, would say to me, ‘Nobby would do anything for Kay. He makes the tea, does the hoovering, washing-up’. I used to cut her off… ‘Don’t get any ideas about me changing!’. He used to show me up in that regard.

I last saw him at a family birthday in Dublin last year. He wasn’t in a good way. He couldn’t talk. But Kay said, on the day, he knew he was in company. She knew by his eyes, he felt like he had that security around him.

And he always had that, because everyone bloody loved him.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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IAN HERBERT: Nobby Stiles was failed by football as he battled Alzheimer’s

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ian herbert nobby stiles was failed by football as he battled alzheimers

Nobby Stiles never wanted a fuss, so it was with modesty and reserve that his family patiently and precisely described the way that football had done so precious little to help him through the desperate struggles of his fading years.

Stiles had been doing battle with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia for 15 years by then, to the extent that his mind had become terribly frayed and visits to his modest semi-detached house on Kings Road in Stretford were not easy, if he was having one of his bad days. 

One of Bobby Charlton’s visits to his old friend was particularly distressing for both of them. In time, Stiles just could not could bring himself to see people.

Nobby Stiles' family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), were failed by football as he was given little help from the game as he battled with Alzheimer's until his death on Friday

Nobby Stiles' family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), were failed by football as he was given little help from the game as he battled with Alzheimer's until his death on Friday

Nobby Stiles’ family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), were failed by football as he was given little help from the game as he battled with Alzheimer’s until his death on Friday

Stiles, who died aged 78, was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966

Stiles, who died aged 78, was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966

Stiles, who died aged 78, was part of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966

The need for a helping hand and – though the Stiles family would never say so – a little help with respite care was blindingly obvious. When the FA got in touch in 2016, the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup triumph, to say they were aware a number of Sir Alf Ramsey’s team were not so well, the family admitted that things had not been so easy. 

There was a bleak follow-up phone call from the governing body, in which Stiles wife Kay was told that there was a means tested scheme, with an application form if she wanted to fill it in and apply for money. She declined.

Stiles was not aware of this. The illness had robbed him of the mere capacity to speak, let alone read letters, though there were fragments of the old sense of humour so loved by Charlton, Shay Brennan and David Herd: the ‘Big Four’ as they ironically called themselves. Amid the struggle to recall who he’d spoken to just five minutes earlier, Stiles once grinned at his son, Rob. ‘I make new friends every day,’ he told him.

The expressions of support and regret flowed on Friday night from the Professional Footballers’ Association and Stiles’ beloved Manchester United. But neither were there for him, either, when he was on his uppers, struggling and trying to find a way after the glories of his playing days.

There had been virtually no communication from United after Stiles left a coaching role in 1993. 

He inquired about tickets once, wanting to accompany his granddaughter, Caitlin, to her first Old Trafford match, against Liverpool on her birthday in 2009. He was told he must pay full price.

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was in the Man United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

35048268 8897931 image a 222 1604075220376

35048268 8897931 image a 222 1604075220376

35049014 8897931 image a 231 1604076311133

35049014 8897931 image a 231 1604076311133

There was a request from United to film and do interviews when the street next to the school he attended – St Patrick’s Primary in Collyhurst – was renamed as Nobby Stiles Drive. Stiles’ wife was disinclined to grant that request. One of the very few other occasions when they had been in touch was to request Stiles to do a dinner for them, for free.

To hear all this – and then learn of the family’s deep unhappiness that the PFA did so little to advance an understanding of the links between heading a football and dementia in Stiles’ lifetime – makes the blood boil, though United could do no wrong in his eyes.

He shed tears in 2010 when announcing he would be auctioning his World Cup medal and the shirt from the final worn by the late Alan Ball, which he swapped for his own at the final whistle. 

‘I have had a bit of bad time and I want to leave something for my family,’ he said at that time.

Perhaps it took the perspective of decades to appreciate what Stiles represented, because one piece of correspondence from one of the modern United generation meant a lot to him and his family amid the struggle. 

Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966. By the end, Stiles found it hard to have friends visit due to his Alzheimer's

Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966. By the end, Stiles found it hard to have friends visit due to his Alzheimer's

Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966. By the end, Stiles found it hard to have friends visit due to his Alzheimer’s 

It was a card from Wayne Rooney, written out by the player after Stiles’ sons had made his condition public in 2015 and asked for privacy as they tried to help their mother.

No regrets, Stiles would have said. Football was a great life to have lived. In the depths of his struggles his son, Rob, located a supply of DVDs of the old United games in which the Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton relied on Stiles to flush out opposition danger. And to their astonishment, he responded. 

‘Great player, son, great player,’ Stiles said of Peter Osgood, prominent for Chelsea on one of the tapes. ‘We had a job dealing with him.’ 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOYS OF ENGLAND’S GREATEST TRIUMPH? 

Gordon Banks – Finest English keeper of all time, who played mostly for Leicester City and Stoke City as well as a spell in the United States. He died aged 81 after battle with kidney cancer.

George Cohen –  Hailed as ‘the greatest full back I ever played against’ by George Best. A one club man for Fulham, where has a statue after making 459 appearances. The 81-year-old is one of four members of the team still alive.

Jack Charlton –  Brother of Sir Bobby and a star defender in his own right, he played only for Leeds United in his career. Went into management and took Republic of Ireland to the knockout stages in two World Cups. Passed away in July this year at the age of 85.

Bobby Moore – Peerless defender and captain of England considered the greatest ball-playing centre-half in history. Tragically died aged just 51 in 1993 due to bowel cancer. He was the first of the 1966 team to pass away. There is still great upset that he was never knighted.

Ray Wilson –  At 32, Huddersfield’s most capped England international was also the oldest member of the team that beat West Germany 4-2 in the final on July 30. He died in May 2018 aged 83 after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years.

Nobby Stiles – His toothless dance after victory at Wembley has become iconic in English football, as were his ferocious midfield displays. The Manchester United mainstay passed away after battling Alzheimer’s.

Alan Ball – Was the youngest member and man of the match in the 1966 final but sold his winners medal to provide for his family – like eight of the 11 players did. Played for 13 clubs before transitioning into management. Died of a heart attack in 2007 at the age of just 61 while trying to put out a blaze. 

Sir Bobby Charlton – Survived the Munich Air Disaster before helping England to win first the World Cup. With his majestic left foot and crucial 1966 goals, many have said he may be the greatest footballer England has ever produced. Still working at Manchester United at the age of 83. 

Martin Peters – Scorer of the second goal in the final. Started a second career in insurance in 1984 following 67 caps for the national team and spells with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich. Died on 21 December 2019, aged 76. 

Sir Geoff Hurst – Still the only player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Sir Geoff was part of an army of West Ham players who dominated the 1966 England team. Knighted in 1998, the 78-year-old is retired and lives in Cheltenham with his wife Judith. 

Roger Hunt –  One of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players, Hunt joined his family’s haulage company after retiring from playing in 1972. After being overlooked for years, he was made MBE along with Ball, Cohen, Stiles and Wilson in 2000 after a campaign to recognise their achievements in 1966. Now lives in Warrington, aged 82.

Sir Alf Ramsey –  National hero and mastermind behind the team of ‘wingless wonders’, the manager had predicted England would win the 1966 World Cup when he took the helm in 1963. Lost his job after failing to qualify for 1974 World Cup and retired in 1980 to a quiet life in Ipswich. Died following a heart attack in 1999, aged 79. 

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