Roger Hunt, a member of England’s 1966 World Cup team and winner of two First Division titles with Liverpool, has died at the age of 83.
Hunt, who won 34 caps, played in all six matches at the 1966 finals and scored three goals. He partnered Geoff Hurst in the final against West Germany and was the player closest to the ball when Hurst famously, and controversially, scored via the underside of the bar. “I thought it was over the line,” Hunt once said.
With Liverpool, for whom he played from 1958-69, Hunt won the top division in 1964 and 1966, and the FA Cup in the season in between, under Bill Shankly. He made 492 appearances for the club and scored 285 goals, before signing for Bolton.
Liverpool were in the Second Division when Hunt joined and his 41 goals in 41 games helped them to the title in 1962. He was the leading scorer for eight seasons in a row, enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Ian St John and was the club’s leading goalscorer until his record was passed by Ian Rush.
Hunt received an MBE in 2000 but was known as “Sir Roger” by many Liverpool fans in recognition of his achievements.
The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp 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.
“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.”