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Roger Hunt: England 1966 World Cup winner and Liverpool great dies aged 83

·3-min read
Roger Hunt about to celebrate as Geoff Hurst scores in England’s 1966 World Cup Final win over Germany (Getty Images)
Roger Hunt about to celebrate as Geoff Hurst scores in England’s 1966 World Cup Final win over Germany (Getty Images)

Roger Hunt, a member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad and Liverpool’s second-highest goalscorer, has died at the age of 83.

Liverpool announced that the former striker passed away peacefully at home following a long illness on Monday evening.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp led the tributes saying that Hunt, who scored 285 goals for the club, “comes second to no one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC”.

Hunt was also a key part of England’s World Cup triumph, scoring three times in six appearances during that tournament and 18 goals in 34 caps overall for his country.

He joined Liverpool from nearby amateur team Stockton Heath aged 20 in 1958 and spent 11-and-a-half hugely successful years at Anfield.

 (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
(Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

His club record of 285 goals stood until Ian Rush surpassed it in 1992 but no player has ever scored more League goals for Liverpool than Hunt’s total of 244.

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

Under the management of Bill Shankly, who arrived at the club a few months later, Hunt formed 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.

Klopp paid tribute to Hunt as he said: “It’s really sad news and our thoughts and our love go to his family. 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.

Mural of legendary strike partners Roger Hunt and Ian St John in Liverpool (PA)
Mural of legendary strike partners Roger Hunt and Ian St John in Liverpool (PA)

“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.”

The FA announced that England will honour Hunt before their next home match, the World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley on October 12.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “English football has lost another great with the passing of Roger Hunt.

“On behalf of the FA, our thoughts are with his family and friends today. Twice a league champion with Liverpool, either side of a memorable FA Cup success in 1965, Roger will always be treasured by fans across the country as one of our World Cup winners of 1966.”

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