Leeds City Councillor pays tribute to 'gentleman' Norman Hunter

The former soccer player Norman Hunter, legend of Leeds United and World Champion with England in 1966, he died at the age of 76 from coronavirus.

His uncompromising playing style earned him the nickname "Bites yer legs" and he was part England's World Cup winning squad of 1966.

Hunter had been admitted to hospital last week after contracting coronavirus and despite the best efforts of NHS staff was unable to fight off the illness.

The midfielder made 726 appearances for Leeds over a 14-year career with the club.

Leeds said in a statement: "Leeds United are devastated to learn of the passing of club icon Norman Hunter at the age of 76".

In a statement released this Friday morning, his old club confirmed he had sadly died.

Hunter helped Leeds win two first division championships, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, as well as the League Cup and the FA Cup. He was also the first ever victor of the PFA Player of the Year award, in 1974.

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He later played for Bristol City and Barnsley, who he managed for four years before also leading Bradford and Rotherham.

The players' union also paid tribute in a tweet.

She said: "I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the tragic news that Norman has passed away".

Hunter was the inaugural victor of the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year award in 1974, the same year that he won his second league title with Leeds. This terrible virus was one crunching tackle too far but he'll be biting yer legs somewhere. RIP.

Fellow Three Lions star Peter Reid echoed those sentiments, writing: "RIP Norman Hunter, a giant of a man".

"Along with thousands of people in Leeds and beyond Norman Hunter was a hero of mine and I have treasured memories of watching him play as a child".

  • Lawrence Cooper