'We will never forget Norman Hunter': Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear's tribute after legend's death

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear has paid tribute to Norman Hunter following his death

Friday, 17th April 2020, 12:55 pm

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear says the club will 'never forget' Norman Hunter following his death aged 76 after a short battle with coronavirus.

The former Whites defender became a club legend at Elland Road having enjoyed a 14-year spell in West Yorkshire under Don Revie's stewardship.

Hunter joined the Leeds ranks in 1962 and over the course of his stay helped turn United from Second Division strugglers into one of England's most feared teams, making 726 appearances in the process.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

'Bite Yer Legs', as he became affectionately known, was a key player in helping Leeds to a number of trophies - which included two First Division titles and the 1972 FA Cup.

Hunter was also a member of the 1966 World Cup winning squad, and Kinnear has paid a heartfelt tribute to a man who meant so much to the city of Leeds.

"As a footballer there are very few who have a career which has been as decorated as Norman’s," he told the YEP.

"Let’s not forget, he was a European Cup winner in 1975 despite what the record books may state and there is no question that the name Norman Hunter will live on at our club forever.

Leeds United legend Norman Hunter collects his World Cup medal. (Ian Hutchinson)

"To this day there is a brotherhood amongst the Revie team and there is no question that Norman was at the heart of their success.

"Whilst he was famed for his aggressive style of play, all of that team will tell you there was far more to his game than his ‘Bites Yer Legs’ moniker suggests. Anyone that played with him will tell you he was an incredible footballer and an even better team-mate.

"He is one of only 22 English professional footballers to own a World Cup winning medal after being presented with his at Downing Street in 2009.

"However, to fans of Leeds United, it is impossible to say what he will be remembered for the most. One of our most successful players, one of our most iconic figures and someone who worked for the club until the day he sadly passed away."

Hunter remained a club ambassador up until his death, and was a regular attendee at Elland Road.

Kinnear continued: "Norman was adored by everyone he came into contact with throughout the years and it is heartbreaking to think the next time we meet again at Elland Road for a game, after we have defeated the vile illness which has taken Norman from us, that he won’t be on stage in the Suite named after him, sharing his many stories with the room.

"When Norman took to the stage you could hear a pin drop, supporters of all ages have listened to every word he has said for over a decade in his role as an ambassador at the club.

"He leaves behind him a heartbroken family and our thoughts and prayers today are with his daughter Claire, son Michael, his three grandchildren and of course his wife Sue who has been his rock throughout the years, especially recently when he has experienced some health issues.

"He also leaves behind a devastated family at the club - from his former team mates such as Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Paul Reaney, to our staff in Stuart Dodsley and Charlotte Taylor who worked with him every week in the West Stand and adored him.

"Rest assured, once it is safe to do so, we will find a suitable way for fans to commemorate Norman and celebrate his life. Leeds United will never forget Norman Hunter, he will always be in our hearts."