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RIP Norman Hunter


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What an absolute legend. I had the pleasure of meeting the great man at a Lottery draw at The Crown in Saltford when the draw was done every Monday night at a local pub or club in the Bristol area, that night he had a few beers and we were asked if we could take him home, of course we said yes and me and my mate were in the front and Norman was in the back of my mates Vauxhall Viva with our two girlfriends, he lived in Stoke Bishop in a great big house in a private road. I kept looking back cause I couldn't believe we had a legend in our car. 

RIP Norman.

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1 hour ago, Lew-T said:

This one...

 

I'm somewhere in the boys enclosure, probably half way between the open end and half-way line. Not really enough resolution to pick myself out, even if I remembered what I looked like as a ten year old.

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Just woke up in OZ Saturday morning and was made aware of the devastating news that Norman has passed away. This is tragic news. I wish all the sincere best to his family and friends across the world. He will be sadly missed by thousands especially the supporters of Leeds United and Bristol city.

May he rest in piece.

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Absolutely devastated. Norman was and is still my hero. I was a regular in the Boys enclosure from 1976 and I haven’t seen a better player for City since. I studied his game intently and used to position myself in the enclosure to follow his every move. When he left City I found myself heading to Barnsley if it didn’t clash with a City game. They had a good side with a young Mick McCarthy who was clearly learning his trade from Norm. Lucky to meet Norman on a few occasions including an interesting chat between him and Bob Latchford which I was invited in on. RIP Norm. I will never forget the influence you had on me. 

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Before my time but RIP Norman Hunter.

Seemed a real good player- more than that, real fans favourite- with us, near end of his career but sounds like he was excellent in those first 3 seasons in top flight? Of course,. he was renowned with Leeds before us.

Actually got in front of me that I found in a charity shop a little while back some programmes from 1978/79. Piece by Peter Godsiff, will type it out as it's relevant to Norman Hunter. If anyone is interested:

Quote

"If anyone were to suggest to Norman Hunter that the bait of a £1,000 bonus would make him play a little harder, they would be in danger of getting a painful kick from that famous left boot.

But the fact remains that he has only to turn in his customary steady performance in the next three Saturday matches to earn the size of cheque City fans dream about each time they buy one of the club's lottery tickets.

The money has been put up by the Sunday People in a competition in conjunction with Rediffusion. A total of £7,000 is on offer to four First Division players, one each from the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions and one from Scotland.

Norman is the clear leader as the top First Division defender and the only serious challenger is Everton's Colin Todd. At the last count Norman's average mark was 7.42 and Colin's 7.35.

But since then Norman, quite rightly, edged a little further ahead of the Everton man when he was given nine marks out of ten as the star City man on the sand's of Derby.

The Sunday People ratings are only given for Saturday matches so the final three Saturday games of the season --- at Liverpool, where he was outstanding last season, against his old Leeds United buddies at Ashton Gate and then at Manchester City --- take on great significance.

My personal view is that the ratings system --- one which we used in the Evening Post for several years --- is not necessarily an accurate way of assessing players. I have always submitted that it is impossible for anyone to give a true reflection of every player's contribution to a game by issuing marks.

But the interest created by the ratings system is enormous. I must confess I always look at the ratings --- and I know every played does as well.

But I must admit the latest positions in the Sunday People table contain few surprises. Peter Shilton is the top goalkeeper. Kenny Dalglish the top striker and Tony Currie the top midfield man.

The midfield list is the most interesting. Liam Brady is second, followed by Osvaldo Ardiles, Martin Peters, Graeme Souness and Gerry Gow.

Gerry is the only other City player in a leading position. Although he has no chance of winning that section, to be in the top six in a department where there are so many outstanding players is a great achievement.

There has been more speculation about Norman's future at the end of the season which, I suppose, is inevitable as his contract ends in the summer.

But he dismisses reports that he is about to retire as "absolute rubbish" . And he still feels he has two more good seasons left, even though he will be 36 in October.

City fans who have been thrilled by his play since he came to Ashton Gate can be comforted by the fat he has not necessarily decided to leave the club and return North.

He told me: 'Nothing will be decided until after the end of the season. I have agreed with the boss that everything should be left until then.' "

Programme, Tuesday April 17th 1979, W.B.A. 7.30pm kick off.

Question for City fans who remember those times- did he win the top defender and the £1k prize?

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9 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Before my time but RIP Norman Hunter.

Seemed a real good player- more than that, real fans favourite- with us, near end of his career but sounds like he was excellent in those first 3 seasons in top flight? Of course,. he was renowned with Leeds before us.

Actually got in front of me that I found in a charity shop a little while back some programmes from 1978/79. Piece by Peter Godsiff, will type it out as it's relevant to Norman Hunter. If anyone is interested:

Programme, Tuesday April 17th 1979, W.B.A. 7.30pm kick off.

Question for City fans who remember those times- did he win the top defender and the £1k prize?

Yes he won.

So disappointed he left after 3 seasons always hoped he would have taken over from Alan Dick as manager 

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I feel so sorry for younger fans (and of course moreso for his family and friends) - but I just feel incredibly sad that they never had the chance to watch Norman Hunter OR Gerry Gow in our red and white.

Watching those two made football so special.

Warriors.

They made their team-mates walk taller, and both were very,very fine players.

 

I would urge all of our younger fans to scour you-tube and social media and try to find whole games when those guys played, not just highlight reels.

They played every second of every game to the best of their abilities and are a loss to the game, and our history.

RIP Norman, and give Frannie Lee another one when you next meet.

 

 

Edited by SX227
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leeds fan here, someone on WACCOE (leeds forum) shared a link to this thread

i'm far too young to have seen norman play but like any leeds fan who has been to elland road more than a few times i met him more than enough. this has affected me and a lot of leeds fans i know very deeply today. reading this thread from you lot just shows what a true football icon norman was before anything else. obviously being leeds i only know of him being leeds through and through - these tributes from BCFC have opened up just how much he means to other clubs and the wider football community.

not really Bristol City focused but wanted to share this emotional eulogy from John Giles recorded today: 

good luck whenever this season commences. it would be totally fitting if we win the league, you go up via the play offs and barnsley escape the drop.

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Watching that vid (Norman Hunter bites your legs).

Hammer of a left foot- seems like based on the admittedly limited footage I've seen on him he was and definitely by the standards of that era, a bit of a footballing CB?

Had the steel too of course...

Kendall Being carried off, no stretcher, no nothing- ******* hell- don't think much of the health and safety, finely tuned athlete aspect there! :laughcont:

That bit from 1:14.

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RIP Norman - he has always been in my top 2 of City heroes, the other being the late Gerry Gow. 

What amazed me when we signed him from Leeds was that my perception of him was, "great! we have signed a brilliant, "hard as they get" defender", already a legend of the classic Leeds team of the early 70s and an England player who, unluckily didn't get as may caps as he deserved due to the presence in the team of Bobby Moore.  What I didn't realise we were going to get for the next 3 seasons was not just a brilliant defender who knew all the tricks of the trade, but was a classy, sophisticated and intelligent player who played a big part in firstly, keeping us up in 76/77, but then helped us to establish the club in the top flight with his outstanding levels of performance for  next 2 seasons.

It is surely no coincidence that, after he left in 1979, our results dipped to the point that we ended up getting relegated in 1980.

But the memories of those 3 seasons before Norm left were just great times.  And he was, probably more importantly, a fantastic bloke.

Very sad that it has ended this way..😔😪

Edited by New Dazzler
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Good friend of mine is a Leeds fan, and he messaged me this earlier:

Spoke to my dad earlier and he reminded me of the time he took me to see Barnsley v Rotherham  in an old 3rd/4th division  promotion game when Norman Hunter was manager of Barnsley, I was probably 13-14 at the time and still very naive - my dad was originally from Barnsley as well as being a big Leeds fan who held Norman in very high regard and we were stood directly behind the Barnsley dug out, and the shouting and swearing from Norman and his management team was ‘industrial’ to say the least. So much so, and I still vividly remember, my Dad going to the dugout and having a word with Norman to tone it down  - needless to say he apologised and there were no more swear words! I’ve since met Norman a few times and that sums up the guy.

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RIP Norman. A legend in a City shirt and I was lucky enough to see him in the flesh. As others have said he was so much more than a tough tackling defender. He could play as well. No coincidence our rapid decline came when Hunter and Collier both left at the end of the 79 season. Thank you Norman for your efforts In a City shirt.

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8 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Watching that vid (Norman Hunter bites your legs).

Hammer of a left foot- seems like based on the admittedly limited footage I've seen on him he was and definitely by the standards of that era, a bit of a footballing CB?

Had the steel too of course...

Kendall Being carried off, no stretcher, no nothing- ******* hell- don't think much of the health and safety, finely tuned athlete aspect there! :laughcont:

That bit from 1:14.

That's Norman. Todays pussys would roll around for 600 000  years. If they could move that is.

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12 hours ago, Sleepy1968 said:

I'm somewhere in the boys enclosure, probably half way between the open end and half-way line. Not really enough resolution to pick myself out, even if I remembered what I looked like as a ten year old.

You and me both.

I remember meeting NH on the Whitsun  Bank Holiday (Monday) as my dad used to call it, in 1978. I was playing in an all day 6-side tournament in the local park at Bromley Heath. We lost the final watched by NH, Tom Ritchie and maybe one other player (all dressed in the flared trousers, big ties and wide lapels fashion of the day) but still got presented with little trophies by Norman, who despite his high profile seemed very relaxed and genuinely supportive of us lads. 

RIP Norman. They don’t make them like you any more.

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17 hours ago, SDBS36 said:

RIP big man saw your 1st game for City away to Derby, seem to remember you got sent off (put me right if I'm wrong) thought then what a player hard but fair, you were missed when you stopped playing for us, we thought you may become our manager

you will be missed by all fair minded football fans, my respects & thoughts with your family at this sad time

SDBS. I went to this one as well. Cant remember him being sent off but memory getting hazier on a daily basis ! Remember Derby fans booing him as he had been sent off when playing for Leeds v Derby in a fracas with Francis Lee.

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19 hours ago, BigTone said:

Not afraid to say I've been the same. Have shed more than one tear. This has really put me on my arse today.

I didn't sleep at all well last night, Norman was like one of the family to me as was many of the Revie-era, as a 9yo watching my first game in the 1963/64 season I was star-struck from then on. 57 years later I'm still attending all the Leeds games home & away. So many memories over the years & Norman played a big part in my childhood, still stunned this morning.

The current Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa reminds me of Revie in the way he has created a fantastic togetherness amongst our squad & the way so many players who once appeared distinctly average have improved beyond belief!

I'm just hoping we are allowed to finish this season off & achieve one of Norman's great wishes by achieving premiership status.

Norman may not be with us anymore but believe me he'll be looking down in spirit & willing us on to the end!

  

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21 hours ago, Sir Leigh of Somerset said:

Very, very sad news indeed.

Norman wasn't just a terrific footballer but he was a really good person.

When Norman was preparing to leave Bristol, and move back up North, he put his sports shop in a parade of shops at Whitchurch up for sale. I can't remember the actual address (not being a Bristolian) but from a hazy memory some 45 years later, I think it was the shop lease, the stock and the trading name (Norman Hunter Sports??) that was for sale.

I was in my early 20s, a little unsettled at work and looking for a new challenge so I made an appointment to view it.

I can't recall who I made the appointment with but I think it must have been with a property agent because I clearly recall pitching up there one evening after work and being absolutely surprised and delighted to find that it was my footballing hero and the universally acclaimed legend himself waiting, on his own, to show me around.

Anyone who remembers the shop will remember that it was tiny so that bit didn't take long!

I've never forgotten what happened next though because, once I'd overcome my nervousness, we chatted away for at least 15/20 minutes.

During our chat, Norman asked what I did for a living. He seemed genuinely interested (in my fledgling retail career) and asked me a good few questions before advising me that taking over his shop was not the right thing for me to do and that I should stick with the company that I was with where there would be more opportunities for career progression.

When you're in your early 20s and one of your footballing heroes gives you advice, you take it. I stuck with the company I was with for a further 25 years and things did work out well there (and thereafter).

Over the years, as I've reflected on that almost surreal evening, I've always returned to the appreciation of what a really good person Norman was. He wanted/needed to sell the business but not so much that he'd encourage me, a young lad with a potentially good career ahead of him, to risk taking it over.

A kind and decent man who I've never forgotten and never will forget.

Wonderful story!

Typical Norman , a kind & sincere man

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50 minutes ago, 1964w said:

I didn't sleep at all well last night, Norman was like one of the family to me as was many of the Revie-era, as a 9yo watching my first game in the 1963/64 season I was star-struck from then on. 57 years later I'm still attending all the Leeds games home & away. So many memories over the years & Norman played a big part in my childhood, still stunned this morning.

The current Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa reminds me of Revie in the way he has created a fantastic togetherness amongst our squad & the way so many players who once appeared distinctly average have improved beyond belief!

I'm just hoping we are allowed to finish this season off & achieve one of Norman's great wishes by achieving premiership status.

Norman may not be with us anymore but believe me he'll be looking down in spirit & willing us on to the end!

  

Ditto. Woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get Norman's passing out of my head.

You go on up as Champions for Norman and we'll get there at Wembley. Win Win.

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1 hour ago, oldstandrobin said:

Ditto. Woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get Norman's passing out of my head.

You go on up as Champions for Norman and we'll get there at Wembley. Win Win.

Would be perfect 

Good luck at Wembley

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17 hours ago, candygram for mongo said:

From my memory he used to warm up a few yards in from touch line, in line with pillar 6? which was where me and my mates stood every home game.

Loved watching Norman play for City and would certainly include him in my top 3 City players in my lifetime

Sorry, I should have got my tape measure out. I was only referring to the rough area, so there was no confusing which side I meant.😄

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20 hours ago, candygram for mongo said:

From my memory he used to warm up a few yards in from touch line, in line with pillar 6? which was where me and my mates stood every home game.

Loved watching Norman play for City and would certainly include him in my top 3 City players in my lifetime

Who were the other two players in your top 3 ?

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Just been looking through my copy of Biting Talk, Normans autobiography. It was lovely the things he said about us as a club, team and the fans. Said he enjoyed his time with us and had a soft spot for us and always looked for our results. It was between us and Southampton when he left  Leeds, but talking to Alan Dicks  swung it our way. Could not believe he was on better wages with us compared to Leeds, although he at to clean his own kit here.What a great guy.

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Looked at an interview with Eddie Gray  from 2017 on youtube. it's in 5 parts, maybe more about his life in football.

Great listen if you have the time. ( Anybody have any spare time?)

Think it's in the 2nd part he talks about Norman.  In his opinion Bobby Moore might have been the best defender in international games, but at league level Norman was the best defender in the country.

Also no surprise he was such a skilful defender as when Revie signed him up he was an inside left. (Attacking midfielder for young uns)

To think back when Hunter signed Merrick went to play full back says it all.

RIP Big Man you were a joy to watch.

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