'The very least we could do' - Leeds United announce honour for legendary defender Norman Hunter
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One of the club’s beloved Revie Boys, Hunter made an incredible 726 appearances for Leeds in a 14-year period but remained a huge presence in and around the club until his death.
Norman’s wife, Sue, said: “As a family we are touched by the clubs decision to name the South Stand after Norman and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the supporters of the club and the game in general for the amazing messages of sympathy we have received in recent days.
“Finally, once again we would also like to thank all the doctors and nurses and everyone in the NHS who supported Norman too.”
Leeds owner Radrizzani looks forward to welcoming supporters back to Elland Road to pay their respects to Hunter in the newly-named stand.
“Naming the South Stand after Norman is the very least we could do to recognise the lifetime of hard work and dedication he gave to our football club – firstly as a hugely successful player and secondly as an ambassador for Leeds United,” he said.
“Norman was respected and loved by everyone connected to the club and as we battle through uncertain times it is unlikely that he will be able to be given the send-off he deserves and therefore we expect the South Stand to be bouncing when fans are finally allowed to return to Elland Road and pay their respects to a giant of the game.
“I would also like to say a massive thank you to our current South Stand sponsor TransUnion, they have been completely supportive and encouraging of the suggestion to rename the stand after Norman.”
Hunter, nicknamed ‘Bites yer legs,’ played a huge part in Leeds’ Second Division and two First Division titles and five cup triumphs.
They won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice and clinched the 1968 League Cup, 1969 Charity Shield and 1972 FA Cup.
For England, he won 28 caps and was part of the 1966 World Cup winning squad.
In 1974 he became the first ever winner of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, evidence of how highly regarded he was by his fellow professionals.
Hunter remained part of the fabric of the club throughout his post-playing years and was a regular speaker in a suite bearing his name at Elland Road.
A spokesperson for Leeds United said: "He always had time for supporters and was loved by everyone he came into contact with.
"We would like to thank our supporters and the media for respecting the families wishes for privacy at this difficult time and would ask that this continue as the family continue to grieve."