Leeds United urged to win promotion for Norman Hunter

NORMAN HUNTER’S animated displays of passion from his vantage point in the gantry in the West Stand at Elland Road represented his Leeds United calling card in his later years.

Norman Hunter playing for Leeds United (Picture: PA)

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Why Norman Hunter embodied best of Leeds United and football - The Yorkshire Pos...

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.

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Hunter will have savoured witnessing what turned out to his last and final Leeds fixture – a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

Tributes are laid at Elland Road for Leeds United legend Norman Hunter. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe )

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.”

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