Memories of Norman Hunter
18 Apr 2020 09:58 am, by YorkshireSquare
Norman Hunter is revered as one of the toughest to have ever played the game. The nickname ‘Bites your legs’ was well earned, Norman was uncompromising in his tackling and alongside Jack Charlton for ten years was the foundation of the greatest Leeds United team to have graced Elland Road. But that was not all there was to his game, he was a skilful player too, 28 England caps and a World Cup winners medal testify to that fact. Whilst he may have been hard on the pitch he was a true gentleman off it with his friendly, affable character making him a favourite with both old and young fans alike. Hunter may have been born in the North East but he was Leeds through and through…
Medals don't mean much to me.
For me it was about being at Leeds United & playing with that group of people.
It was magic.
That passion for Leeds United and the city of Leeds shone through during his time as a match day summariser for BBC Radio Leeds and if you ever met him meeting and greeting fans in the hospitality areas of Elland Road pre-match. Twitter has been full of fans posting pictures of themselves with Norman, he was always more than willing to make time for the fans and talk about Leeds United. It’s that passion and enthusiasm that has seen not only Leeds fans but fans of Bristol and Barnsley, where he spent the later stages of his career, post glowing tributes too. Even fans of Leeds arch-rivals from Norman’s era such as Chelsea and Sunderland have good things to say…
Bristol City supporter ‘oldstandrobin’ wrote...
Today is a very sad day for all Leeds United and Bristol City supporters when we heard the sad news of the passing of Norman Hunter. I first saw him at Elland Road and when he joined us, I was ecstatic. I went to the Baseball Ground to see his debut for us v Derby County. He ran on to a chorus of Boos as he had been sent off in a previous match playing for United v County!
He was class, he was a gentleman. I can only say thank you to Leeds United for letting us 'borrow' Norman as he was Leeds through and through. He was a legend at Ashton Gate as he was at Elland Road. Condolences to all his friends and family.
Condolences to all our footballing friends at Leeds United. RIP Norman.
Sunderland fan ‘Mackem in Peace’ wrote...
Sunderland fan here. I felt compelled to post a message about Norman. I sat next to him at a football dinner in Durham around ten years ago and didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a memory I will never forget of a fantastic human being who had time for everybody. We talked about his upbringing..born in Eighton Banks, Gateshead, about 3 miles from me. Boyhood Toon fan for his sins, but Leeds United to the core.
My first ever game at Roker Park was in 1970 and NH played that night. Leeds beat us of course. He was as hard as nails on the pitch but also very skilful. A great footballer for many years. But my lasting impression was simply that Norman was a cracking bloke. Salt of the Earth.
Today is a sad day....Rest In Peace Norman.
Bristol City supporter ‘Robinthered’ wrote...
Hi Bristol city fan here would just like to pass on my condolences to Leeds united on the sad loss of Sir Norman Hunter RIP. He was a great player and a top bloke. You obviously had the best years of Norm but let me tell you in my eyes he was one of Bristol City’s best signings ever and almost single handedly kept Bristol city in the old First Division.
Norman went on to own a sports shop in Whitchurch, Bristol and when he hung up his boots I had great football discussions in his shop. What a team you had in the 70s, brilliant football to watch under Don Revie.
Well thanks for listening and may the old warrior rest in peace.
Chelsea fan ‘F1905’ wrote…
Old school Chelsea fan in peace, just wanted to say RIP Norman.
Whilst I have been a blue since mid-60's my family are all Leeds fans so I know the rivalry but I also had the pleasure as a kid going to watch the Leeds first team train. On one visit Norman chatted for a few minutes and I will never forget how good he was to a 7 year old Chelsea fan. If I was Ossie I’m sure he would have kicked me :-)
With Bonetti passing away and now Norman it is sad times for us oldies.
RIP and enjoy your kick about
Barnsley fan 'Neil Redfearn's sock' wrote...
I had the pleasure of watching Norman play for Leeds ( tagged along with family members ).
One of the my best days supporting the Reds was when Norman signed for us. It didn't matter he was coming to the end of his career, the excitement in the town was fantastic. Norman was still a class act, but he gained his legend status at Oakwell for his management.
Under Norman we played a brand of exciting, attacking football that was loved and cherished by those lucky enough to see it.
The players adored him and he made them feel like they could beat anybody. Our league cup run to the quarter finals where we beat Swansea, Brighton, Man City and drew at Anfield was down to the belief Norman instilled into his players and his tactical nous.
All the best Sir Norman. RIP