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Leeds United legend Norman Hunter has passed away at the age of 76.

The Leeds legend had been hospitalised after being diagnosed with COVID-19

Soccer - Football League Division One - Leeds United Photocall Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Leeds United legend Norman Hunter has passed away at the age of 76 following his hospitalisation after being diagnosed with Coronavirus last week. All of us at Through It All Together offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

A club statement from Leeds United said: “He leaves a huge hole in the Leeds United family, his legacy will never be forgotten and our thoughts are with Norman’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

“Bites Yer Legs” made his debut for Leeds against Swansea Town at the age of 18 and went on to play 726 games for Leeds United in all competitions between 1962 and 1976 winning the two first division titles, two Fairs Cups, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. He also won the first PFA player of the year award for the 1973/74 season.

Soccer - Professional Footballers Association - Awards Night - Hilton Hotel, London
Leeds United and England defender Norman Hunter with his trophy after being voted the first PFA Player of the Year.
Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

He finished his playing career with spells at Bristol City and Barnsley FC. He also managed Barnsley as both a player-manager and as manager after retiring, as well as a spell as manager of Rotherham United.

Internationally, Hunter won 28 caps for England and was in the 1966 World Cup winning squad. He didn’t get any game time at the tournament and probably got fewer caps than a player of his ability usually would, but the partnership of Jack Charlton and Bobby Moore was first choice for a very long time. He did eventually get a World Cup winner’s medal in 2009 after FIFA originally awarded medals to only the 11 players used in the final.

Soccer - Fifa World Cup 2010 - Qualifying Round - Group Six - England v Andorra - Wembley Stadium
Norman Hunter collecting his 1966 World Cup Winners Medal
Photo by Sean Dempsey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Norman Hunter remained a presence at Leeds United right up until football was shut down. Those of us who are too young to have seen him play will all have fond memories of his work as a commentator on BBC Radio Leeds. He still appeared on the gantry at home matches, and was a regular speaker in the aptly named “Norman Hunter suite” on match days.

RIP Norman Hunter - 29th October 1943 to 17th April 2020. One of Leeds United’s greatest.