England’s World Cup-winning striker Roger Hunt died at the age of 83 on Monday following a long illness, his former club said.
Hunt, who scored three goals during England’s victorious World Cup campaign on home soil in 1966, was also Liverpool’s record scorer with 285 goals in 492 appearances until Ian Rush broke the record in 1992.
Under Bill Shankly, Hunt helped Liverpool win two league titles and their first FA Cup trophy in 1964-65 when he scored in the final against Leeds United. His tally of 244 league goals is still a club record.
“Liverpool FC is mourning the passing of legendary former player Roger Hunt,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Hunt’s achievements saw him bestowed with an honorary knighthood from the Kop and he will forever be known as ‘Sir Roger’ by supporters of the club he graced with such distinction.” Rush said on Twitter.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Sir Roger Hunt, someone I would always look up to. He was a fantastic goal scorer and a true gentleman on and off the pitch.” Hunt’s death came days after his former England teammate Jimmy Greaves died at the age of 81.
“Roger Hunt comes second to no one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC, that much is clear,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said.
“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.” The English Football Association’s CEO Mark Bullingham said they would pay tribute to Hunt’s memory at England’s next home game at Wembley Stadium when they host Hungary in a World Cup qualifier on October 12.
“English football has lost another great with the passing of Roger Hunt,” Bullingham said. “Roger will always be treasured by fans across the country as one of our World Cup winners of 1966.”
Hunt played 34 times for England and lost only twice. He was also a member of the 1962 World Cup squad, making the cut after scoring on his international debut a month before the tournament.
Former England striker and television pundit Gary Lineker described Hunt as a “truly great striker” for both club and country.
“He may be gone but his achievements will always be remembered,” Lineker wrote on Twitter.