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Leeds legends lead tributes to Norman Hunter

:Headline: Leeds legends lead tributes to Norman Hunter:
Norman Hunter was part of the hugely successful Leeds side of the late 1960s and 1970s and "set the levels", according to Gary McAllister.

Gary McAllister led the tributes from the world of football to former Leeds defender Norman Hunter, who has died aged 76 after contracting coronavirus.

Hunter, nicknamed 'Bites Yer Legs' because of his fearsome reputation in the tackle, was part of the hugely successful Leeds side of the late 1960s and 1970s.

He played 28 times for England and was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 1966. He had been admitted to hospital last week after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

"He was a great reader of the game, great left foot on him, great passer of the ball, so influential in our team."

Hunter was the inaugural winner of the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year award in 1974, the same year that he won his second league title with Leeds.

The players' union said in a social media post that the game had "lost a legend".

"All at the PFA are deeply saddened to hear of Norman Hunter's passing," the tweet read.  "Football has lost a legend and we join the entire football community in mourning this loss."

Hunter was born in Eighton Banks, County Durham, on October 29, 1943.

He joined Leeds from Birtley Juniors and made his professional debut in September 1962.

Current Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear said: "He leaves behind him a heartbroken family and our thoughts and prayers today are with his daughter Claire, son Michael, his three grandchildren and of course his wife Sue who has been his rock throughout the years, especially recently when he has experienced some health issues.

"He also leaves behind a devastated family at the club – from his former team mates such as Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Paul Reaney, to our staff in Stuart Dodsley and Charlotte Taylor who worked with him every week in the West Stand and adored him.

Leeds captain Liam Cooper, Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani, the leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake and former Leeds defender Norman Hunter during the 100 years plaque unveiling at Salem Chapel (Mark Walker/PA)

"Rest assured, once it is safe to do so, we will find a suitable way for fans to commemorate Norman and celebrate his life.

"Leeds United will never forget Norman Hunter, he will always be in our hearts."

Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker joined the tributes to a player he fondly remembered watching during his formative years.

"Sad news: Norman Hunter has passed away," Lineker wrote on Twitter.

"Grew up watching that great @LUFC side of which he was a huge part. This awful virus was one crunching tackle too far but he'll be biting yer legs somewhere. RIP Norman."

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke said: "This is very sad news and my thoughts are with Norman's wife Sue and his family.

"I had been privileged to get to know him in recent years with his regular visits to Wembley to support the England team, and was always struck by his passion and knowledge.

"I have a particularly fond memory of being able to see at first hand just how much Norman was revered at Leeds United.

"When Gareth and the team played at Elland Road just before the last World Cup, it was more than fitting that he was part of our delegation in the suite that bears his name.

"While he will be especially missed at Leeds, the whole of English football will mourn his passing today."

Hunter's 14-year spell at Leeds ended in 1976, when he joined Bristol City. He finished his professional career at Barnsley in 1983, where he also served as manager between 1980 and 1984.

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1Leeds UnitedLeeds40229960332775
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom402014667382974
3Brentford402091170333769
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest401813953401367
5Fulham4019101154441067
6Cardiff CityCardiff40151695751661
7Derby CountyDerby401612125552360
8Millwall411417104844459
9Swansea CitySwansea401415115047357
10Preston North EndPreston40169155250257
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn401511145550556
12Bristol City401510155359-655
13Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds401410164954-552
14Wigan AthleticWigan401311164550-550
15Queens Park RangersQPR40148185966-750
16Reading401310174848049
17Birmingham CityBirmingham401213155163-1249
18Charlton AthleticCharlton411210194655-946
19Hull City40129195468-1445
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield40129194963-1445
21Middlesbrough401014164052-1244
22Stoke CityStoke40127215061-1143
23Barnsley401011194562-1741
24Luton TownLuton40117224673-2740
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool32282270254586
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3Leicester CityLeicester32167960312955
4Chelsea321661057441354
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd321410851312052
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves321313645341152
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32121193332147
8Arsenal32111384741646
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs32129115144745
10Burnley32136133645-945
11Everton32128124047-744
12Crystal Palace32119122837-942
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32712133444-1033
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford32610162949-2028
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3276193054-2427
20Norwich CityNorwich3256212560-3521
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