Coronavirus kills former England defender

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Leeds United’s Norman Hunter in action with Queens Park Rangers Terry Venables. [Action Images via Reuters]

Novel coronavirus, Covid-19, has robbed us a football legend who will be remembered by many worldwide for his defensive skills on a pitch.

Former Leeds United and England defender Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’ Hunter died on Friday after contracting Covid-19.

“Norman was taken to hospital last week after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and despite continuing to battle and the best efforts of NHS staff, he sadly lost his fight earlier this morning.

“He leaves a huge hole in the Leeds United family, his legacy will never be forgotten and our thoughts are with Norman’s family and friends at this very difficult time,” Leeds said on their website.

Former England teammate Alan Mullery said Hunter never lost his competitive spirit, even when on holiday.

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“We used to go on cruises together. I remember we were on a trip once and we were playing the crew and I was the referee and he was playing.

“And he’s hit this fellow in a 50-50 tackle and this fellow did three somersaults and landed on his backside.

Coronavirus kills former England defender
A part of England’s World Cup-winning squad in 1966, Hunter won 28 caps for his country, scoring two goals. [Photo: Reuters]

“I said to him ‘Norman, these passengers have paid a lot of money to come on it.’ And he said ‘We’ve still got to win, Alan. We can’t let them win’.

“To talk about him as a footballer, he was probably one of the hardest footballers you would ever come up against. And off the field he was gentle,” Mullery told Sky Sports.

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

He helped Leeds to promotion from the Second Division in 1964 and was key to their success.

Coronavirus kills former England defender
Football – Norman Hunter dies – Elland Road, Leeds, Britain – April 17, 2020. Tributes for former Leeds United player Norman Hunter are seen outside Elland Road after he died after contracting the coronavirus. [Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine]

Hunter won two First Division titles, the League Cup and the FA Cup. He was a part of Leeds’ Inter-Cities Fairs Cup-winning sides in 1968 and 1971 and tasted defeat in the final of the European Cup in 1975, having lost at the same stage of the European Cup Winners’ Cup two years earlier.

A part of England’s World Cup-winning squad in 1966, Hunter won 28 caps for his country, scoring two goals.

Following his departure from Leeds in 1976, Hunter went on to enjoy spells with Bristol City and Barnsley, going on to manage the latter as well as Rotherham United and Bradford City.

May the legend Rest in Peace!

Game Yetu sends heartfelt condolences to the family of Norman Hunter.

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