FOOTBALL chiefs have apologised after it emerged Whites legend Nat Lofthouse had been missed off a Wembley plaque listing every England player's debut.

The Bolton News blew the whistle on the incredible oversight at the national football stadium — and last night the FA vowed to rectify the mistake.

The error — spotted by eagle-eyed Bolton fan David Irving — was discovered in the week that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney broke the all-time scoring record for his country, netting his 50th England goal against Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Nat, who died in January 2011, briefly held the record himself in 1958 when he scored the last of his 30 England goals, achieved in just 33 games.

He scored twice on his debut against Yugoslavia in 1950 — but his name has been embarrassingly excluded from the silver plaque which was laid six months ago in front of the iconic statue of Sir Bobby Moore on the north side of the stadium.

The name of former Tottenham winger Les Medley, who made his debut in the same year as Nat, has also been missed off the list.

An FA spokesman said: "We appreciate this matter being brought to our attention and, following an investigation, have ascertained that it was due to a formatting error.

"The panel is in the process of being taken down and will be replaced imminently.

"The families of both players will be contacted directly to apologise for this oversight.”

Mr Irving, who lives in Blackpool but originally hails from Little Hulton, was distraught to spot the mistake when he travelled to North London to watch his grand-daughter Alice singing in a choir before the recent Challenge Cup Final.

Mr Irving, a 67-year-old semi-retired traffic engineer at Blackpool Airport, said: “My son David and I had some time to kill, so we looked up and down the list to spot Bolton Wanderers players, but I couldn’t quite believe that they had missed out the most famous one of all.

“I was quite upset. Nat was a grand fellow. My mother and father once missed the last bus home and Nat, spotting them in the pouring rain, stopped, picked them up, and drove them home.

“He was a gentleman and a true hero to us Bolton fans, so I am most disappointed that his name had been missed off the list, considering the goals he scored for his country.

“I’m happy the FA is taking such swift action, but once they have done that they should look into giving him a posthumous knighthood too. It’s no less than he deserves.”