ENGLAND WORLD CUP WINNER NORMAN HUNTER SIGNED TO STYLO MATCHMAKERS WITH A NUMBER OF LEEDS UNITED TITLE WINNING SIDE. He was part of the 1966 FIFA World Cupwinning squad, receiving a winner’s medal in 2007. He has since been included in the Football League 100 Legends. Known for his tackling, he was nicknamed “Bites Yer Legs” Hunter. The nickname originated from a banner held up by Leeds United fans at the 1972 FA Cup final against Arsenal; the banner simply read “Norman bites yer legs”. Brian Clough effectively popularised the nickname by referring to it during the pre-match discussion in the TV studio.
Hunter joined Leeds at the age of 15, giving up a job as an electrical fitter in the process. He made his first-team debut in 1962, forming a partnership at the back withJack Charltonwhich lasted for a decade. Leeds were promoted asSecond Divisionchampions in 1964 and a year later came close to the “double” ofLeague championshipandFA Cup; however, they lost the title toManchester Unitedon goal average and were beaten 2–1 byLiverpoolin the FA Cup final. Hunter picked up winner’s medals as Leeds won theLeague Cup, theFairs Cupin 1968 and 1971, and the League Championship in 1969 and 1974.
In 1972, Leeds won the FA Cup via a goal fromAllan Clarke. Hunter’s joy at the goal was captured in a photograph; his defensive position meant that he was at the opposite end of the pitch to Clarke, and a photographer behind the Leeds goal captured the moment as Hunter leapt high in the air in celebration with arms and legs spread, as if in the midst of a star-jump. At the end of the game, Hunter climbed the steps to the Royal box twice; once to collect his own medal, and then again to helpMick Jonesnegotiate his way up and down, as Jones had been receiving treatment for adislocatedelbow while his teammates had been getting their prizes.
1973 saw defeats in two finals, as Leeds lost in the FA Cup Final to Sunderland, and then a few days later to A.C. Milan in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. This match is one of a series of matches involving Italian clubs that are regarded as being “fixed”, by Dezso Solti. Hunter was sent-off in this match for retaliation. In 1974, Hunter was the first winner of thePFA Players’ Player of the Yearaward, receiving it at the end of the1973–74 season.
Hunter had a new defensive partner for the next season with Leeds, playing alongsideGordon McQueen. Leeds started the season with a 29-match unbeaten run, which led them to the title. He was a member of the Leeds side that reached the1975 European Cup Final, which Leeds lost 2–0.
After 540 Football League appearances for Leeds, Hunter signed for Bristol City on 28 October 1976 for £40,000, and remained there for three years, making 108 appearances and scoring four goals. His final game for Bristol City was against Leeds United. In June 1979 Hunter joined Barnsley as a player and made 31 appearances before finally retiring from playing in January 1983.
Hunter was appointed Barnsley manager on 16 September 1980 after Clarke left to take over as manager at Leeds United. That season, Hunter took Barnsley to second in the Third Division in the1980–81 season. Barnsley finished sixth the following season and if not for a poor run in February could have been promoted. At the end of that season though the side began to break up and whilst they got to the fifth round of the FA Cup the following season they could only finish 11th. In 1983–1984 the team struggled after a fairly good start, and with the team fifth from bottom Hunter was sacked on 8 February 1984. A week after that he became a first team coach atWest Bromwich Albionuntil June 1985.
In June 1985 Hunter moved toRotherham United, but he could not replicate the success that he achieved at Barnsley in the early years, and was sacked on 9 December 1987. In 1989, he became a coach atBradford Citybut was sacked in February 1990.
Hunter made his debut for theEnglandteam in 1965, but the existing partnership between Jack Charlton andBobby Mooremeant that he spent much of his international career as an understudy, winning 28 caps in total. He was inthe squadwhich won the 1966World Cupbut never kicked a ball.