Norman Hunter (footballer)

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Norman Hunter
CharltonHunter1969.jpg
Hunter (centre) and Bobby Charlton (left), and Paul Reaney (right) in 1969
Personal information
Date of birth (1943-10-29)29 October 1943
Place of birth Eighton Banks, Gateshead, England
Date of death 17 April 2020(2020-04-17) (aged 76)
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Playing position(s) Centre back
Youth career
1959–1962 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1976 Leeds United 540 (18)
1976–1979 Bristol City 108 (4)
1979–1982 Barnsley 31 (0)
Total 679 (22)
National team
1964–1965 England U23 3 (0)
1965–1974 England 28 (2)
Teams managed
1980–1984 Barnsley
1985–1987 Rotherham United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Norman Hunter (29 October 1943 – 17 April 2020)[2][3] was an English footballer who played for Leeds United, Bristol City, Barnsley and England. He was part of the 1966 FIFA World Cup winning squad, receiving a winner's medal in 2007.[4] He was the first winner of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award in 1974, and was included in the Football League 100 Legends. A tough tackling centre-half and defensive midfielder, he was nicknamed "Bites Yer Legs" Hunter. The nickname originated from a banner held up by Leeds United fans at the 1972 FA Cup Final against Arsenal; the banner read "Norman bites yer legs".[5] He played 726 games in total for Leeds, scoring 21 goals.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Leeds United[edit]

Hunter was born in Eighton Banks, Gateshead, in 1943 and joined Leeds at the age of 15,[7] giving up a career as an electrical fitter to do so.[8] He made his first-team debut against Swansea Town in September 1962,[8] forming a partnership at the back with Jack Charlton which lasted for a decade.[9] Leeds were promoted to the First Division in 1964,[10] and Hunter picked up winner's medals as Leeds won the League Cup, the Fairs Cup in 1968 and 1971, and the League Championship in 1969.[11][12] He was a consistent performer, playing 50 or more games for nine seasons in a row[9] and playing all 42 league games in five separate seasons.[13][14]

In 1972, Leeds won the FA Cup via a goal from Allan Clarke.[15] A famous photograph of Hunter's celebration when the goal went in has been published many times.[13][16] At the end of the game, Hunter climbed the steps to the Royal box twice; once to collect his own medal, and then again to help Mick Jones negotiate his way up and down, as Jones had been receiving treatment for a dislocated elbow while his teammates had been getting their prizes.[17]

1973 saw defeats in two finals, as Leeds lost in the FA Cup Final to Sunderland, and then a few days later, to A.C. Milan in the European Cup Winners' Cup, a game overshadowed by rumours of match-fixing.[15][18] Hunter was sent off in the latter match for retaliation.[9]

In the 1973–74 season, Leeds started the season with a 29-match unbeaten run, which led them to the title, giving Hunter his second League winners medal.[11][19] At the end of that season, Hunter was the first winner of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.[12][9] As title holders Leeds thus entered the European Cup the following season, and Hunter was a member of the team that reached the 1975 European Cup Final, only to lose 2–0 to Bayern Munich.[20] [21]

Bristol City[edit]

After 540 Football League appearances[22] and 726 in total for Leeds, Hunter signed for Bristol City on 28 October 1976 for £40,000, and remained there for three years, making 108 league appearances (122 in total) and scoring four goals.[23]

Barnsley[edit]

Hunter finished his playing career with three seasons from 1979 to 1982 at Barnsley, where he was also manager from 1980 to 1984.[24]

Managerial and coaching career[edit]

Hunter was appointed Barnsley manager on 16 September 1980 after ex-Leeds player Allan Clarke left to take over as manager at Leeds United. That season, Hunter took Barnsley to second place in the Third Division and won promotion to Division Two.[24] After a few good seasons, Barnsley started to struggle and Hunter was sacked on 8 February 1984.[24] He had a further managerial spell at Rotherham United (1985 to 1987) and was assistant manager to Terry Yorath at Bradford City. Hunter also worked as a coach for manager Johnny Giles at West Bromwich Albion[25][22]

International career[edit]

Hunter played three games for England under-23 before given his debut for the England team in 1965 by manager Alf Ramsey. On 8 December 1965, England played Spain in Madrid. Hunter came on in his first game, as a 35th minute substitute for Joe Baker. The substitution of Hunter in a midfield position allowed Ramsey to deploy both Bobby Charlton and Alan Ball in more attacking roles as England won 2–0.[26][27] The existing partnership between Jack Charlton and Bobby Moore meant that he spent much of his international career as an understudy, winning 28 caps in total.[28][6] He was in the squad which won the 1966 World Cup but did not play any games.[22][24]

Hunter scored the winning goal against Spain in England's quarter-final qualifying round for the 1968 European Championship, he then started in both the 1–0 semi final defeat to Yugoslavia and the 2–0 victory over the Soviet Union in the bronze medal match.[29][30] He spent a short part of the 1970 season injured but he was in Alf Ramsey's squad for the summer's World Cup in Mexico, however his only appearance in the tournament was coming on as a late substitute in the 3–2 defeat by West Germany.[31]

In 1973, Hunter was in the England team which needed to win their last qualifying tie for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. The opposition at Wembley were Poland, who just needed a draw to qualify at England's expense. It was 0–0 when Hunter went to make a tackle, but instead trod on the ball and lost it. Poland quickly made a counterattack allowing Grzegorz Lato to run clear and set up Jan Domarski to score.[32][33] Allan Clarke equalised with a penalty but England could not score again, and the 1–1 draw saw them miss out on a place at the World Cup.[34]

Post-playing and managerial career[edit]

Hunter turned to the after-dinner circuit recounting his anecdotes, and from 1993 to 2020 he worked for local station BBC Radio Leeds and Yorkshire Radio as a summariser at Leeds games.[35]

In 1998, the Football League, as part of its centenary season celebrations, included Hunter on its list of 100 League Legends.[36]

Hunter released his autobiography, Biting Talk, in 2004.[37]

In the 1966 World Cup final only the 11 players on the pitch at the end of the 4–2 win over West Germany received medals. Following a Football Association-led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all the squad members, Hunter was presented with his winner's medal by Gordon Brown at a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on 10 June 2009.[38]

Hunter retained close links with Leeds United and its fans, and regularly appeared at Leeds matches and figured at club-hosted conferences and events; the eponymous "Norman Hunter Suite" is located in the West Stand at Elland Road.[39][8]

Following Hunter's death on 17 April 2020, Leeds United announced on 23 April that the South Stand at Elland Road would be renamed after Hunter.[40]

Personal life[edit]

In 1968 Hunter married Susan Harper,[32] and the couple had two children, Michael and Claire.[35][41]

On 10 April 2020, it was reported that Hunter was being treated in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.[6][42] On 16 April he was described as being "severely unwell".[43] The following day, Leeds United announced that Hunter died from the virus, aged 76, stating that "[his death] leaves a huge hole in the Leeds United family [and] his legacy will never be forgotten".[44][42][8]

Career statistics[edit]

Source:[14][13]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leeds United 1962–63 Second Division 36 2 3 0 2 0 41 2
1963–64 42 2 3 0 2 0 47 2
1964–65 First Division 41 2 8 0 2 1 51 3
1965–66 41 5 2 0 1 0 11 0 55 5
1966–67 40 0 7 0 3 0 10 0 60 0
1967–68 40 2 5 0 7 0 11 0 63 2
1968–69 42 0 2 0 2 0 9 1 55 1
1969–70 35 1 7 0 2 0 6 0 1 0 51 1
1970–71 42 1 4 1 1 0 10 0 57 2
1971–72 42 0 7 0 4 0 3 0 56 0
1972–73 32 1 7 0 5 0 9 0 53 1
1973–74 42 0 5 0 1 0 1 0 49 0
1974–75 25 1 5 0 4 0 8 0 1 0 42 1
1975–76 31 1 2 0 2 0 35 1
1976–77 9 0 1 0 10 0
Total 540 18 67 1 39 1 78 1 2 0 726 21
Bristol City 1976–77 First Division 31 0 3 0 1 0 35 0
1977–78 38 3 3 0 2 0 43 3
1978–79 39 1 3 0 2 0 44 1
Total 108 4 9 0 5 0 0 122 4
Barnsley 1979–80 Third Division 24 0 2 0 1 0 27 0
1980–81 6 0 6 0
1981–82 Second Division 0 0 0 0
1982–83 1 0 1 0
Total 31 0 2 0 1 0 0 34 0
Career total 679 22 78 1 45 1 78 1 2 0 882 25

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Leeds United

International[edit]

England

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Norman Hunter". EuroSport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  2. ^ O'Mara, Michael (2006). England: The Football Facts. Illustrated. p. 94. ISBN 9781843171881.
  3. ^ "England players: Norman Hunter". englandfootballonline. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  4. ^ "England squad set for 1966 medals". BBC Sport. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  5. ^ "Football League Greats: Norman Hunter". Football League. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Norman Hunter: Leeds United legend in hospital with coronavirus". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  7. ^ Wilson, Paul (17 April 2020). "How Norman Hunter became one of Leeds United's biggest legends". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d "RIP Norman Hunter". Leeds United FC. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e Howe, Jon. "Leeds United Centurions: Norman Hunter". Leeds Live. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b Ingle, Sean; Murray, Scott (26 November 2003). "The rise and fall and rise and fall of Leeds United". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d "Warnock needs funds – Norman Hunter". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d "Norman Hunter". National Football Museum. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "Norman Hunter". Leeds United F.C. history. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Norman Hunter". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  15. ^ a b "Don Revie named manager". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Norman Hunter 1972 FA Cup Final photo". Getty Images. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Jones the Brave". Yorkshire Post. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  18. ^ Westby, Nick (13 May 2013). "Sporting Bygones: Still carrying the fight on behalf of Leeds United". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Legends – Gunners deserve title". Leeds United FC. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  20. ^ Edwards, Richard. "Robbery, rioting and a brave Frenchman: Leeds' 1975 European Cup Final retold". Four Four Two. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Leeds United great Norman Hunter's medal up for sale". Yorkshire Evening Post. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  22. ^ a b c "Leeds United legend Norman Hunter in hospital". ITV News. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Thought with Norman Hunter". Bristol City FC. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d Rayner, Stuart (10 April 2020). "Leeds United legend Norman Hunter in hospital". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  25. ^ Glanville, Brian. "Norman Hunter obituary: A defender who brought more than bite to Leeds United". The Irish Times.
  26. ^ Dave Bowler (30 May 2013). Winning Isn't Everything: A Biography of Sir Alf Ramsey. Orion. pp. 189–. ISBN 978-1-4091-4676-6.
  27. ^ "Spain 0–2 England". EnglandStats. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Norman Hunter". 11v11. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  29. ^ a b "1968 European Championship 3rd place playoff". UEFA.com. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  30. ^ Tossell, David (September 2017). Alan Ball: The Man in White Boots. Hachette.
  31. ^ "Memorable England World Cup substitutions". England Memories. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  32. ^ a b McNulty, Phil (17 April 2020). "Norman Hunter dies: Leeds United great 'a man of steel who could produce silk'". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  33. ^ Jones, Ken (8 October 1996). "Laying the blame at Hunter's feet". The Independent. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  34. ^ Bevan, Chris (14 October 2013). "England v Poland 1973: When Clough's 'clown' stopped England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  35. ^ a b Culley, Jon (9 April 1995). "Where Are They Now?". The Independent. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  36. ^ a b "Football Legends list in full". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Norman Hunter: Leeds' legendary hardman bleeds for the soul of his". The Independent. 7 August 2004.
  38. ^ a b "World Cup 1966 winners honoured". 10 June 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  39. ^ "Norman Hunter Suite". Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  40. ^ "Norman Hunter: Leeds to name stand after club legend who died from coronavirus". 23 April 2020 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  41. ^ Kinnear, Angus. "On Norman Hunter". Leeds United FC. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  42. ^ a b "Norman Hunter: Leeds United legend dies after contracting coronavirus". BBC News. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  43. ^ "Norman Hunter: Leeds legend 'fighting coronavirus hard' but 'severely unwell'". BBC News. 16 April 2020.
  44. ^ Ouiza, Malik (17 April 2020). "Norman Hunter dead: Leeds United legend dies aged 76 after contracting coronavirus". Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  45. ^ a b Richards, Alex (10 April 2020). "Leeds and England legend tests positive for coronavirus". Mirror Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  46. ^ Williams, John (April 2011). Red Men. Random House. p. 116.
  47. ^ Murray, Scott. "1970 FA Cup final replay". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  48. ^ "Norman Hunter relives 1973 final heartbreak against Sunderland". ITV News. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  49. ^ Durham, Adrian (October 2013). Is he all that?. Simon & Schuster. p. 159.
  50. ^ "Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1967". Mighty Leeds. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  51. ^ Lynch, Tony (1995). The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. London: Random House. ISBN 978-0-09-179135-3.
  52. ^ "Player of the Year". MyLeeds100. Leeds United F.C. Retrieved 10 April 2020.

External links[edit]