Norman Hunter's Leeds United legacy must live on with fitting memorial at Elland Road - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

Legend, hero and icon. They are all simple words but ones that can truly reflect the measure of a person.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 10:20 am

All too often, these terms can be overused or when they are not deserved.

Many people are referred to as legendary or heroic these days but if the status is used too much, there is a danger that it could lose its true meaning and impact.

Last week, the city of Leeds and the wider footballing family paid tribute to a true legend, a hero and a gentleman.

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A fan looks on as tributes gather outside Elland Road in memory of Norman Hunter.

Our city is mourning one of its finest adopted sons after Leeds United star Norman Hunter contracted coronavirus and sadly died.

As news of his death spread across the globe, social media channels were flooded with loving messages and treasured memories of Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’.

They were from the heart, they were touching and they demonstrated just how loved this man and player was by so many people.

As a mark of respect, supporters made their own socially distant pilgrimage to Elland Road after the news broke on Friday.

They left shirts and floral tributes in Bremner Square in memory of the hero who captured the hearts of a club and a whole city.

What is clear for all to see is that Norman loved Leeds and Leeds fans and many others in the city had loved him in return.

So now it is time to make sure that Norman’s memory continues to live on as a mark of respect for a gentleman who means so very much to so very many people.

Today the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling for a permanent memorial at the club where he made such an impact over the years.

While there is already a suite at Elland Road named after him, it’s time to go that step further to ensure Norman’s legendary status is remembered by many more generations of football fans to come.

His name is already in the pages of footballing history but now it is time to immortalise Norman at the club he loved with a fitting homage.

A simple thank you doesn’t feel like it goes far enough, especially during these uncertain times we have found ourselves in.

Take the inspiring Captain Tom Moore, for example.

The indefatigable 99-year-old Yorkshire war veteran has won the hearts of all as the amount raised by his inspirational charity walk for the NHS topped £25m.

It’s hard not to feel moved by his efforts to support the NHS. And as a tribute, he has been invited to be the guest of honour – via video link – at the official opening of the new Nightingale hospital in Harrogate this week.

And to show that gratitude even further, there are now calls for Captain Tom to be honoured with a knighthood by the Queen to recognise his heroic efforts to support the national effort.

There are also calls to recognise and celebrate the remarkable NHS staff who are putting themselves at risk every day on the frontline in our hospitals and medical centres.

So let’s make sure that we show our gratitude where we can.

And we can do so by starting at home, at Elland Road, for Norman.