LONDON: Liverpool players wore black armbands for their Champions League tie against Porto after the death, at 83, of Roger Hunt, one of England’s 1966 World Cup winner and club record league goalscorer. Hunt scored an unrivalled 244 league goals for the Reds.
The club said in a statement posted on their official Twitter account: “We are mourning the passing of legendary former player Roger Hunt. The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Roger’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”
His death comes soon after the death of England team-mate Jimmy Greaves.
Hunt was born in Golborne, Cheshire on July 20, 1938. He signed for Liverpool in July 1958 and made his final appearance for the club in December 1969.
Hunt was signed by Phil Taylor from non-league Stockton Heath but was kept on by Bill Shankly, and helped the club out of the old Second Division in 1962, going on to win league titles in 1964 and 1966. He also won the FA Cup with Liverpool in 1965.
Hunt’s overall Reds scoring record was broken by Ian Rush in 1992 but no one has yet scored more league goals for the Merseysiders.
Hunt won 34 caps for England, scoring 18 goals, and earned his first under Walter Winterbottom in 1962 when Liverpool were still in the second tier. In that season, he scored 41 goals in as many games for the Reds.
Hunt scored three goals in helping England get out of their group at the 1966 finals, and played in every game such was his importance to Sir Alf Ramsey’s team.
Famously it was Hunt, running in on goal, who turned to celebrate after Geoff Hurst’s shot for the controversial third goal struck the underside of the crossbar, fell behind the line and ricocheted out.
Current Liverpool manager Jurgen 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 team-mates; I believe he would have fit in well within our current team.”
Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher said: “RIP Sir Roger Hunt one of the greatest goal scorers our club has ever seen. Sir Roger along with the other Legends from the 60’s made @LFC the club it is today.”