Football icon Hunter dies after contracting COVID-19

Norman Hunter was a two-time English Premier League champion.

Former professional football player Norman Hunter passed away 17 April after testing positive for the coronavirus.

He was 76 years old.

Hunter debuted when he was just 18 as a defender for Leeds United football club in 1962 against Swansea Town. He stayed loyal to the club for 14 years before leaving to play for Bristol City in 1976.

“Hunter amassed a huge 726 appearances for Leeds United over a 14 year period, the club’s most successful to date,” said a statement from Leeds UFC. “Hunter was at the heart of the defence as the club became champions of England twice and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners twice, along with successes in the 1968 League Cup, 1969 Charity Shield and 1972 FA Cup.”

The English centre back also played in the 1975 European Cup finals against Bayern Munich, a game Bayern ultimately won 2-0. However, Hunter claimed a European title after Leeds won the now-defunct Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1968 and 1971.

In addition to his club success, Hunter won a total of 28 caps for England and was in the 1966 World Cup-winning squad.

He was also the first winner of the Professional Footballers Association’s Player of the Year award in 1974.

England’s national team said it was “extremely saddened” by Hunter’s passing and that “all of our thoughts are with his family, friends and supporters”.

Following Hunter’s retirement from playing professionally, he managed the Tykes and Rotherham.

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