Roger Hunt

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Roger Hunt
MBE
Roger Hunt.jpg
Roger Hunt in 2006
Personal information
Date of birth (1938-07-20)20 July 1938
Place of birth Glazebury, Lancashire,[1] England
Date of death 27 September 2021(2021-09-27) (aged 83)
Place of death England
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
Croft Youth Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Stockton Heath
Devizes Town
Stockton Heath
1958–1969 Liverpool 404 (244)
1969–1972 Bolton Wanderers 76 (24)
1971Hellenic (loan) 6 (4)
Total 486 (272)
National team
1962–1969 England 34 (18)
Honours
Men's football
Representing  England
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1966 England
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Roger Hunt MBE (20 July 1938 – 27 September 2021) was an English professional footballer who played as a forward.

Eleven years with Liverpool, he was the club's record goalscorer with 286 goals until being overtaken by Ian Rush. Nonetheless, Hunt remains Liverpool's record league goalscorer with 244 goals. Under Bill Shankly, Hunt won two league titles and an FA Cup. In August 1964 he also scored the first ever goal seen on the BBC's Match of the Day. Regarded as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, Hunt was referred to as Sir Roger by the club's fans, ranking 13th on the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop, an official fan poll.

Hunt was a member of the England national team which won the 1966 FIFA World Cup, playing in all England's six games, scoring three times. Hunt was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Glazebury, Lancashire, Hunt played for Croft Youth Club, Stockton Heath and Devizes Town during his formative years.[2]

Liverpool[edit]

He was signed for Liverpool by manager Phil Taylor in July 1958, joining from Stockton Heath.[3] Hunt made his debut and scored his first goal for the club on 9 September 1959 in a Second Division fixture at Anfield against Scunthorpe United; Hunt scored in the 64th minute to give the Reds a 2–0 victory. This goal was the first of many – he went on to score 286 goals for the club, 244 of them in the league, which remains a club record.[4]

Hunt (right) and Liverpool strike partner Ian St John in 1966

After Bill Shankly replaced Taylor, Shankly and his fellow 'Boot Room' coaching staff embarked upon a clear out of 24 players. Hunt however was retained and was a major factor in the Reds' success in the 1960s.[5] Liverpool gained promotion to the First Division in 1962,[5] after the club had finished 3rd or 4th, and thus just outside the promotion spots for five consecutive years from 1956 to 1961. Hunt appeared in 41 of the 42 league games and scored 41 goals in season 1961–1962. His goals helped propel Liverpool to a comfortable eight point title win over runners-up Leyton Orient and included five hat-tricks, coming against Leeds United, Walsall, Swansea Town, former club Bury and Middlesbrough. It was a similar story in 1963–64 and 1965–66 as Liverpool were English League champions.[5] Hunt again the top scorer (as he was for eight straight seasons) scoring 31 goals from 41 games and 29 goals from 37 appearances respectively. On 22 August 1964, Hunt scored against Arsenal after 11 minutes in a 3–2 home win, the first ever goal seen on the BBC's flagship football highlights programme Match of the Day.[6]

In between the two titles, in 1965 he was instrumental in the side winning the FA Cup for the first time. Hunt scored four times in a cup run that saw West Bromwich Albion, Stockport County, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Chelsea all defeated as Liverpool reached the final for the first time since 1950. In the final, after a goal-less 90 minutes, Hunt scored the opening goal in the 93rd minute and strike partner Ian St. John scored the second as the Reds recorded a 2–1 victory over Leeds United at Wembley.[5] He scored Liverpool's only goal in the final of the Cup Winners Cup the following year, as they lost 2–1 after extra time to Borussia Dortmund.[5]

He became Liverpool's record goalscorer on 7 November 1967 in an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup tie against TSV 1860 Munich of West Germany, in which he scored his 242nd goal for the club. His final tally for the club was 286 goals by the time he left the club in 1969 to join Bolton Wanderers, a record that was not broken until Ian Rush 23 years later.[7] He also held the record of scoring 100 top-flight goals in fewer games (152) than any player in Liverpool history, until Mohamed Salah reached the milestone in one game less in September 2021.[8]

Later career[edit]

He signed for Bolton Wanderers in December 1969.[3] In 1971, he moved on loan to Hellenic F.C. in South Africa's National Football League.[9] He retired in 1972, and had a testimonial with Liverpool in April 1972, attended by 56,000 people.[3]

International career[edit]

Hunt was capped 34 times for his country, with his debut given to him by Walter Winterbottom whilst he was still a Second Division player on 4 April 1962, in a friendly against Austria at Wembley. He scored on his international debut as England won 3–1.[10] He was part of the England squad at the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile, but was not selected to play.[11]

England had been chosen to host the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and Hunt, along with Liverpool club mates Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne, were selected by manager Alf Ramsey for the 22-man squad.[12] Hunt was one of three forwards selected for the tournament. He initially partnered Tottenham Hotspur striker Jimmy Greaves up front, but following a leg injury to Greaves he played alongside Geoff Hurst of West Ham United.[13][14] He played in all six games, scoring three times, twice against France and once against Mexico, as England went on to win the Jules Rimet trophy after a 4–2 extra time win over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley.[15][16]

Later and personal life[edit]

After retiring as a player, he joined his brother Peter, in taking over Hunt Brothers, as the third generation of the family-run haulage business. It was originally established by Richard and Harry Hunt in 1929.[3][17]

In 2000 he was awarded a MBE for his World Cup victory.[3] He continued to be known as "Sir" Roger Hunt by the Liverpool supporters, despite the absence of a formal knighthood.[18]

Hunt was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006, recognising his achievements in the English game.[19] He was voted at number 13 by Liverpool fans on the official Liverpool Football Club in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop poll, also in 2006.[20] In 2016 he was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Warrington.[21]

Hunt was married in 1959 to Patricia O'Brien and they had two children.[22] He lived with his second wife Rowan (Green), near Warrington.[23]

Hunt died on 27 September 2021 at the age of 83.[24] His funeral was held on 14 October at Liverpool Cathedral.[25]

Career statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[26][27]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Liverpool 1959–60 Second Division 36 21 2 2 0 0 38 23
1960–61 32 15 1 1 3 3 36 19
1961–62 41 41 5 1 0 0 46 42
1962–63 First Division 42 24 6 2 0 0 48 26
1963–64 41 31 5 2 0 0 46 33
1964–65 40 25 8 5 0 0 9 7 1[a] 0 58 37
1965–66 37 29 1 1 0 0 7 2 1[a] 0 46 32[27]
1966–67 39 14 3 1 0 0 5 3 1[a] 1 48 19
1967–68 40 25 9 2 2 0 6 3 57 30
1968–69 38 13 4 1 3 2 2 1 47 17
1969–70 18 6 0 0 2 0 2 1 22 7
Total 404 244 44 18 10 5 31 17 3 1 492 285
Bolton Wanderers 1969–70 Second Division 17 5 0 0 0 0 17 5
1970–71 24 8 0 0 0 0 24 8
1971–72 Third Division 35 11 0 0 0 0 35 11
Total 76 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 76 24
Career total 480 268 44 18 10 5 31 17 3 1 568 309
  1. ^ a b c Appearance in FA Charity Shield

Honours[edit]

Liverpool[26]

England[28]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Being north of the River Mersey, Glazebury was in Lancashire before 1 April 1974.
  2. ^ Roger Hunt at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e "'Gentleman, modest and one of Liverpool's greatest'". BBC Sport.
  4. ^ "Liverpool FC mourns passing of Roger Hunt". LiverpoolFC. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Reuben Bennett career profile on www.qosfc.com".
  6. ^ "History of Match of the Day". BBC Sport. 14 February 2003. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. ^ LFChistory.net. "A timeline for Liverpool Football Club - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". www.lfchistory.net.
  8. ^ "Is Mohamed Salah Ready To Take Lionel Messi's Mantle As The World's Best?". Forbes. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  9. ^ Bolsmann, Chris (2013). "Professional Football in Apartheid South Africa: Leisure, Consumption and Identity in the National Football League, 1959–1977". The International Journal of the History of Sport. 30 (16): 1947–1961. doi:10.1080/09523367.2013.861128. S2CID 143966092. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Roger Hunt". England Football Online. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  11. ^ "England in Chile 1962". England Football Online. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Gerry Byrne obituary". the Guardian. 29 November 2015.
  13. ^ "England 1966". England Football Online. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  14. ^ White, Jim (19 September 2021). "Jimmy Greaves was supposed to be England's 1966 hero but injury meant 'the big one' eluded him - and it hurt". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Roger Hunt obituary". the Guardian. 28 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Roger Hunt, England World Cup winner and former Liverpool striker, dies aged 83". the Guardian. 28 September 2021.
  17. ^ "End of the road for Hunt haulage yard". Warrington Guardian. 19 December 2002. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  18. ^ "lfc_fixture_past_player_profile". Liverpool FC.
  19. ^ "Roger Hunt". National Football Museum. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  20. ^ Worrall, Frank (2014). Luis Suarez: The Biography of the World's Most Controversial Footballer. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1-7841801-9-5.
  21. ^ "Remembering Roger Hunt MBE". Warrington Borough Council. 28 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  22. ^ Verney, Harriet (9 October 2018). "A game of two halves: Meet the footballers' wives rewriting the rules". Tatler. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  23. ^ Squires, Theo (12 January 2020). "Liverpool legend Roger Hunt on his Reds career, favourite current stars, Jurgen Klopp and much more". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Liverpool FC mourns passing of Roger Hunt". liverpoolfc.com. Liverpool FC. 28 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  25. ^ Cavilla, Tom (14 October 2021). "Liverpool legends pay respects to Roger Hunt at Liverpool Cathedral funeral service". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Liverpool career stats for Roger Hunt - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!". LFChistory.net.
  27. ^ a b "Sir Roger loses a goal but gains a record". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  28. ^ Association, The Football. "Roger Hunt". www.thefa.com.
  29. ^ "Hurst the hero for England in the home of football". FIFA. Retrieved 11 November 2014

External links[edit]