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Tributes paid as England World Cup winner dies aged 83

Tributes have been paid on Tuesday as ex-Liverpool, Bolton Wanderers and England World Cup winner Roger Hunt sadly dies aged 83.

He was a member of England’s 1966 WC winning squad and became Liverpool’s second-highest goalscorer ever.

Hunt was a key player in Sir Alf Ramsey’s England squad that delivered the nation’s first and only World Cup win in ’66, playing in attack alongside Sir Geoff Hurst. He played in all six games for England in the tournament and found the net on three occasions.

Hunt was overlooked for a knighthood, this in turn prompted Liverpool fans to affectionately coin the nickname ‘Sir Roger’, with Hunt then receiving an MBE in 2000.

LIVERPOOL STATEMENT:

Liverpool FC is mourning the passing of legendary former player Roger Hunt.

Hunt, the club’s second-highest goalscorer of all time with 285 goals in 492 appearances, passed away peacefully at home following a long illness on Monday evening. He was 83.

A World Cup winner with England in 1966, Hunt joined the Reds from nearby amateur team Stockton Heath as a 20-year-old in July 1958 and spent 11-and-a-half hugely successful years at Anfield.

His overall tally of 285 goals for the Reds stood as a record until Ian Rush surpassed it in 1992. No player has ever scored more league goals for Liverpool than Hunt’s total of 244, however.

Hunt made his debut in a 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United at Anfield in September 1959 – and, naturally, marked the occasion with a goal.

Under the management of Bill Shankly, who arrived at the club a few months later, Hunt would form a fearsome strike partnership with Ian St John and went on to win the Second Division title in 1962, two First Division titles in 1964 and 1966 and the club’s long-awaited first FA Cup in 1965.

Hunt’s achievements saw him bestowed with an honorary knighthood from the Kop and he will forever be known as ‘Sir Roger’ by supporters of the club he graced with such distinction.

He also achieved legendary status on the international stage, starting the 1966 World Cup final in which England beat West Germany at Wembley. He scored three times in six appearances during that tournament and 18 goals in 34 caps overall for his country.

The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool FC are with Roger’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.

RIP Roger Hunt 1938 – 2021

Hunt was born in Glazebury in Lancashire in 1938, and became a legend of the beautiful game, scoring 285 goals in 492 matches for the Merseyside outfit, with his debut coming in September 1959. On the international syage, Hunt played 34 times for England and scored 18 goals.

He was an important player under the guidance of Liverpool manager Bill Shankly, scoring 41 goals in 41 games in the side that won the second tier in 1961-62. His partnership in attack with Ian St John, who sadly passed away in March, is fondly remembered in Liverpool’s glittering history.

Hunt also enjoyed the distinction of scoring the first goal ever shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day highlights show, it was a looping volley sent into the top corner during a 3-2 win over Arsenal on the 22nd of August 1964.

He lived near Warrington with his wife Rowan, having previously been married to Patricia O’Brien, whom he had two children with.

In 1965, Hunt scored the first goal of when Liverpool beat Leeds 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley to win the FA Cup for the first time. Three years later, Hunt became Liverpool’s leading scorer in January 1968 with a goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Hunt and Liverpool also became the champions of England twice, winning the First Division in 1964 and 1966.

Despite his relentless scoring record, one of the Shankly quotes that is engraved into Anfield folklore came when the Reds boss was questioned about Hunt missing chances.

‘Yes Roger Hunt misses a few, but he gets in the right place to miss them,’ Shankly said.

Hunt remembered just how fond he was with Shankly in an interview with the Liverpool Echo in 2020.

‘Mr Shankly was a great man,’ Hunt said. ‘He was great for me. We had a very good relationship. He played me and I scored lots of goals for him!

‘I knew he was special. He was the best person. He wasn’t the hard man people thought he was. I didn’t know straight away that he’d have such an impact but I was aware pretty soon.

‘We had a great team and I always thought to myself “I’m scoring today”. And I usually did score! I scored a lot of goals, I was a good player.’

He left Liverpool in 1969 and joined Bolton Wanderers, where he scored 25 goals in 84 appearances before retiring in 1972.

Hunt was overtaken as Liverpool’s leading scorer by Ian Rush in 1992, with the Welshman going on to score 346 goals for the Anfield outfit.

“It’s really sad news and our thoughts and our love go to his family,” Klopp said.

“Unfortunately, it feels too frequent in this moment we are saying farewell to these giants of our club.

“Roger Hunt comes second to no-one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC, that much is clear.

“To be the goalscoring catalyst of the Shankly team to actually achieve promotion and then go on to win those precious league titles and the FA Cup puts him in a bracket of LFC legends who are responsible for making us the club we are today. Not only that, he was also a World Cup winner in 1966, too.

“I am told the Kop christened him ‘Sir Roger’ for all his achievements. A goalscorer who never stopped working to help his teammates; I believe he would have fit in well within our current team.

“So, it is Sir Roger we will remember, honour and pay tribute to over the coming days.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Tributes have been paid as the England World Cup winner dies aged 83…

@nevisondave: RIP saw him against Halifax Town when he went to Bolton late in his career. Great thrill at the time

@lfcJay90: One of the greatest English strikers of all time. Rip fella

@JamesInvictus: #LFC Just heard that my very first hero Sir Roger Hunt has died. Goes without saying that thoughts are with his family. Got my first LFC kit in 1965 and my mum sewed the iconic LFC badge on along with Roger’s number 8 on the back. Gutted beyond words. Thanks for the memories. RIP

@Prosopo3: 2 greats of the past gone too soon. Greaves and Hunt. 626 goals between them. Both legends of the game.

@Poggese: I support liverpool indirectly due to Roger Hunt. My father Roger supported Liverpool in the 60s due to having the same name as his favourite player. Hunt also played for Devizes Town, which is fairly local to us. RIP Roger

@iamarkb1980: Sir Roger set the bar and was and will always be a legend at anfield and @LFC RIP sir roger #ynwa

@_paulholliday: RIP Roger. A boyhood Wanderer who graced the beautiful game with Liverpool and England before ending up wearing the #BWFC shirt with pride.

@AdxmLFC: Ah man, that’s heartbreaking. Was the record goalscorer for Liverpool before Rush and was there for over a decade at Anfield, I believe. A Liverpool legend. Rest in Peace.

@alanlowndes1: the word legend to describe a player is given out to easily nowadays but he truly was a Liverpool legend, RIP Sir Roger Hunt #YNWA

@pabstmeplease: My dad, a blue, used to drive a private hire cab and Roger Hunt was one of his customers. My dad always spoke about what a gentleman he was. After my dad had a stroke, Roger had him round to his house for a cuppa and a catch up; it meant the world to my dad. RIP

@nevjamo: Such a shame… Thoughts with his friends and family! The word legend is banded about much too often, but this man was a true true legend of Liverpool Football Club, rest in peace Roger

@NickTuer: Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Roger in the museum at Anfield. He was there with his family and was having a picture taken with his memorabilia. He noticed us and walked across with the ball he was holding, bounced it off my sons head and talked to us. Amazing. YNWA

@tomconnors4: RIP Sir Roger. One of the finest ever to wear the famous red Jersey. Absolute club legend. Sad day for all LFC fans 😭

@BallydehobWhite: One of my heroes, Roger was a fantastic footballer, World Cup winner, a lovely man too, so, so sad, I still have a signed photo I treasure of him, my thoughts go out to all his family and friends at this difficult time, God bless Roger 🌹

@ForeverAYelow: Just amazing to see the touching tributes paid as England says goodbye to another all round football legend and World Cup winner as he dies aged 83. You’ll never be forgotten.

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