Omnipresent on a match-day, Hunter celebrated, shared and suffered with his fellow Whites devotees and his desire to see his side dine again at the Premier League table was as fierce as one of those trade-mark tackles he was famed for in his playing days.
Hunter will have savoured witnessing what turned out to his last and final Leeds fixture – a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
It is cruel that he should depart with Leeds so close to booking a top-flight return – but if promotion is confirmed, thoughts will soon turn to one of the club’s great icons and servants.
Speaking for a grieving fanbase, his team-mate and friend Eddie Gray said: “Football’s on the backburner at the moment for obvious reasons, but when it resumes – and it will – I hope Leeds United win promotion for Norman.
“His biggest ambition towards the end of his life was to see the club back in the Premier League.
“Norman loved the club. Until he went into hospital he was still at the games, still doing his bits for the football club.
“He was always passionate about Leeds United, kicking every ball.”
On the pitch, Hunter never exactly hid his defensive iron fist beneath a velvet glove, but the respect he held among his peers and their appreciation of his class was total, with his inaugural PFA Players’ Player accolade in 1974 bearing testament to that.
Gray added: “Norman played the game in the manner everybody played it in those days, he was tough and uncompromising.
“His reputation was probably deserved, but he was also a great player. To win the first PFA players’ player of the year award tells you what his peers thought of him. Everyone who played with or against him knew the value of Norman Hunter.”
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.