England

Nat Lofthouse statue at Bolton's Reebok Stadium

  • 24 August 2013
  • From the section England
Nat Lofthouse statue
Lofthouse was named player of the year in 1953

A statue of former Bolton Wanderers player Nat Lofthouse has been unveiled at the Reebok Stadium.

The 9ft (2.7m) tall bronze statue was revealed before Bolton's home game against Queens Park Rangers.

Lofthouse, who died two years ago at the age of 85, played over 500 games for Bolton and won 33 caps for England.

Former Bolton captain Kevin Davies, who modelled for the statue, said Lofthouse was "one of the greats".

"He could have signed for any of the big clubs when he was banging the goals in for club and country, but he loved the club, he loved the area, and that's probably why he stayed there for so long," he said.

'No-nonsense'

Lofthouse captained Bolton in two FA Cup finals, the first time in 1953 when he came up against Sir Stanley Matthews.

The Trotters were beaten 4-3 by Lancashire rivals Blackpool at Wembley.

Five years later, Lofthouse won a winner's medal after scoring both goals in the 2-0 win over Manchester United, only three months after the Old Trafford club had been involved in the Munich air disaster.

Lofthouse, who was footballer of the year in 1953, scored a total of 255 league goals as well as 30 goals in domestic cup competition.

The £100,000 statue was made by Sean Hedges-Quinn, who is also responsible for statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.

He said Lofthouse was "a no-nonsense, typical, brave centre forward and that was what I needed to try and capture".

The sculptor created an 18in (45cm) maquette first and then spent four months making a full-size version using 990lbs (450kg) of clay.

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."

His son Jeff said: "Dad still captures people's imagination in Bolton and I think he captures the spirit of Bolton and Bolton Wanderers is still a great club."

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