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Roger Hunt: The World Cup winner knighted by the Kop


T

o the Kop he was simply known as Sir Roger. A banner proclaiming as much is regularly unfurled every match day.

The fact Roger Hunt, who has died at the age of 83, was never honoured to the extent of some of his EnglandWorld Cup-winning team-mates or numerous less-decorated footballers since has always been a source of bewilderment to Liverpool fans.

Belated recognition for that 1966 triumph in the form of an MBE was finally bestowed at the turn of the century, but it is his exploits for club, not country, for which he is revered by the red half of Merseyside.

His name is likely to remain in Liverpool’s history books in perpetuity as if Ian Rush, the club’s all-time leading scorer, could not overcome his League goals record — 244 in 404 games — the likelihood is no one will.

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Hunt was born in Golborne, Cheshire, on July 20, 1938.

Having had a trial at Bury before opting to return to the family haulage business, he signed for Liverpool after being spotted playing for local amateur team Stockton Heath while on leave from the army aged 21 in 1959.

He scored on his home debut and proceeded to spend the next decade banging in the goals and winning trophies.

His remarkable 41 goals in as many games in the 1961-62 season helped Liverpool to win promotion as runaway Division Two champions and that form continued in the top flight as his partnership with Ian St John was written into footballing folklore.

Hunt’s goals helped Liverpool to the Division One title in 1963-64, a first FA Cup in 1965 and the league championship again in 1965-66 before greater glories followed at international level.

Roger Hunt (right) after Liverpool win the 1965 FA Cup

/ PA

He had gone to the 1962 World Cup, having been called up while still a Second Division player, but did not feature. Four years later he was a key member of the squad.

Hunt, who had the honour of scoring the first goal to be shown on Match of the Day in August 1964, played in all six England matches on home soil, scoring three times.


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