1953 English Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year trophy awarded to Nat Lofthouse

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Lot 78
1953 English Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year trophy awarded to Nat Lofthouse

Sold for £ 12,500 (US$ 15,449) inc. premium

Sports Memorabilia

6 Nov 2013, 11:00 GMT


The collection of former Bolton and England footballer Nat Lofthouse
The collection of former Bolton and England footballer Nat Lofthouse

Nathaniel "Nat" Lofthouse, OBE (1925 – 2011) 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. Born in Bolton, Lancashire, 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. On 25 May 1952, Lofthouse earned the title 'The Lion of Vienna' after scoring his second goal in England's 3–2 victory over Austria. In doing so he was elbowed in the face, tackled from behind, and finally brought down by the goalkeeper. 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. He scored a goal – but was on the losing side – in the famous 1953 FA Cup Final having previously scored in each round. That season he topped the First Division goalscoring charts with 30 goals. He featured in the 1954 World Cup side. Lofthouse scored twice against Belgium in a match that ended 4-4. Injured for the next match, in the quarter final game against Uruguay he equalized in the 16th minute, after receiving the ball in the 18 yard box. 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. Bolton won the game 2–0 with Lofthouse scoring both goals.
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 was not until 17 December of that year, when he suffered a knee injury against Birmingham City. Lofthouse stands seventh in the list of English football's top division goalscorers. After retiring from playing football, Lofthouse became the assistant trainer at Burnden Park in 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. Lofthouse was the recipient of various honours after retiring from the game. On 2 December 1989, he was made a Freeman of Bolton. On 1 January 1994, he was appointed an OBE and on 18 January 1997, Bolton decided to name their East Stand at their new Reebok Stadium after him. In April 1993, he appeared as a special guest on the TV guest show This Is Your Life. Nat Lofthouse was an Inaugural Inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. The 9ft (2.7m) tall bronze statue was revealed before Bolton's home game against Queens Park Rangers in August 2013. The £100,000 statue was made by Sean Hedges-Quinn, he said Lofthouse was "a no-nonsense, typical, brave centre forward and that was what I needed to try and capture". The base of the statue carries Lofthouse's final words: "I've got the ball now, it's a bit worn, but I've got it."
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1953 English Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year trophy awarded to Nat Lofthouse
Featuring a figure of a footballer in match action pose preparing to kick a football, affixed to wooden base with enamelled Union Jack shields to either side, engraved plaque to front 'THE FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR PRESENTED TO NAT LOFTHOUSE BOLTON WANDERERS F.C. BY THE FOOTBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION CUP FINAL EVE 1953'. Sculpted in solid base metal, the wooden plinth with green felt lining. This trophy was presented to Nat Lofthouse in 1953.


  • The Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football. Presented since the 1947–48 season, when the inaugural winner was Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews. The winner is selected by a vote amongst the members of the Football Writers' Association, which comprises around 400 football journalists based throughout England. The award was instigated at the suggestion of Charles Buchan, a former professional footballer turned journalist and one of the Association's founders.
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