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Roger Hunt, MBE (born 20 July 1938 in Golbornemarker, Lancashiremarker) is an English former footballer.

Life and playing career

Hunt played for Stockton Heath, Bury, Stockton for a second time, Devizes Town and Stockton again before manager Phil Taylor signed him for Liverpool on 29 July 1958. He made his debut and scored his first goal for the club on 9 September 1959 in a Second Division fixture at Anfieldmarker against Scunthorpe United; Hunt scored in the 64th minute to give the Reds a 2–0 victory. This goal was the first of many - he would go on to score 286 goals for the club.

Roger Hunt was a major factor in the Reds success under Bill Shankly in the early 1960s, gaining promotion to the First Division in 1962, after the club had finished 3rd or 4th, and thus just outside the promotion spots for five consecutive years from 1956 to 1961.

Hunt appeared in 41 of the 42 league games and scored 41 goals in season 1961–1962, averaging one goal per game. His goals helped propel Liverpool to a comfortable eight point title win over runners-up Leyton Orient and included five hat-tricks, coming against Leeds United, Walsall, Swansea, former club Bury and Middlesbrough.

It was a similar story in 1963–64 and 1965–66, with Hunt again the top scorer (as he was for eight straight seasons) as Liverpool won the League championship, scoring 31 goals from 41 games and 30 goals from 37 appearances respectively.

In between the two titles, in 1965 he was instrumental in the side winning the FA Cup for the first time. Hunt scored four times in a cup run that saw West Bromwich Albion, Stockport County, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Chelsea all defeated as Liverpool reached the final for the first time since 1950. In the final, after a goal-less 90 minutes, Hunt scored the opening goal in the 93rd minute as the Reds recorded a 2–1 victory over Leeds at Wembleymarker. He would also score Liverpool's only goal in the final of the Cup Winners Cup the following year as they went down 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund.

On 22 August 1964, Hunt scored against Arsenal after 11 minutes in a 3–2 home win, the first ever goal seen on the B.B.C's flagship football highlights programme Match of the Day.

Hunt was capped 34 times for his country, with his debut given to him by Walter Winterbottom whilst he was still a Second Division player on 4 April 1962, in a friendly against Austria at Wembley. He scored on his international debut as England won 3-1. He then went to the 1962 World Cup finals in Chilemarker, but was not selected to play.

England had been given the go ahead to host the 1966 FIFA World Cup and Hunt, along with club mates Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne were selected for the 22 man squad by manager Alf Ramsey.

World Cup Winner

Hunt was one of three forwards selected for the tournament. He initially partnered Tottenham Hotspur striker Jimmy Greaves up front but following a leg injury to Greaves he played alongside Geoff Hurst of West Ham United.

Hunt played in all six games, scoring three times, as England went on to win the Jules Rimet trophy after a 4–2 extra time win over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley.

Roger Hunt is the player whom strike partner Hurst always mentions when discussing his controversial second goal in the final when the ball hit the crossbar and bounced down - Hurst always says that Hunt, the closest player to the ball, would have followed up to score himself if he'd been in any doubt, but he turned away in celebration of a certain goal.

Back in the domestic game, Shankly's Liverpool team of the 1960s was beginning to age and be replaced, and this included Hunt, who after 492 appearances and 245 goals was allowed to leave on 16 December 1969 to join Bolton Wanderers, with whom he played 76 games and scored 24 goals.

Only Ian Rush has since surpassed his goalscoring total for Liverpool, though Rush scored fewer League goals than Hunt, who still holds that particular Liverpool Football Club record.

After retiring from football, Hunt formed a haulage company and became a sitting member of the pools panel, who predict the results of games affected due to adverse weather in order for pools participants to be still able to win the prizes available.

In 2000, Hunt joined fellow 1966 heroes the late Alan Ball, George Cohen, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson in receiving the MBE, after a campaign by sections of the media surprised by the lack of recognition for their part in England's biggest day in football. Their other six team mates, plus manager Alf Ramsey, had already received honours of one form or another.

Roger Hunt was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006, recognising his achievements in the English game. He now runs a joinery company and was voted at No.13 by Liverpool fans on the official Liverpool Football Club web site (www.liverpoolfc.tv) in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop poll, also in 2006.

He continues amongst the Liverpool supporters to be known as "Sir" Roger Hunt, despite his lack of a Knighthood from the reigning monarch.

Honours



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