Loss of a Red Legend


Roger Hunt - record goal scorer for Liverpool.
Roger Hunt - record goalscorer for Liverpool

Roger Hunt, Liverpool F.C.'s greatest league marksman with 244 goals for the Reds, has died aged 83. 

In the Anfield roll of goalscoring honour, Hunt's total of 286 is second only to Ian Rush's. For that reason, the Kop knew him as "Sir Roger".

He cemented his place in Liverpool folklore as his goals helped whisk the Reds from the second tier to the top of English football under Bill Shankly's charismatic management in the swinging sixties. 

The Lancashire-born forward won two league championships and an F.A. Cup with the club and then the World Cup with his country, playing in all of England's games in 1966.

Alongside Geoff Hurst, Hunt was famously preferred by manager Alf Ramsey to the more purely talented Jimmy Greaves, who died last week. He scored 18 goals in 34 matches for the Three Lions, netting three at the '66 finals.

Hunt was a hard-working centre forward with a good right foot, who not only scored plenty himself but also created so much space and chances for colleagues with his tireless running that England skipper Bobby Moore rightly called him "a player's player".

His career tally of 272 goals in 486 matches with only two bookings is testament to the positive way in which he played the game.

Hunt's greatest domestic season was 1963-'64 when Liverpool became champions of England and Hunt scored 31 league goals in a stellar partnership with Ian St John. 

That was the Reds' first title in 17 years and the start of their golden era of dominating English and later European football.

His death leaves England with three survivors from their only World Cup-winning team - Bobby Charlton, George Cohen and Hurst. 

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(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile


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