Roger Hunt, MBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English former footballer who played as a forward. He spent eleven years at Liverpool and became the club's record goalscorer with 286 goals, until it was surpassed by Ian Rush. Hunt remains Liverpool's record league goalscorer. Under Bill Shankly, Hunt won two league titles and an FA Cup. Regarded as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players, Hunt is referred to as Sir Roger by the club's fans. He was ranked 13th on the 100 Players Who Shook the Kop, an official fan poll.
Hunt was a member of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup. He played in all six England games in the tournament, scoring three times. Hunt was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Born in Glazebury, Lancashire, 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 Anfield 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, 245 of them in the league, which remains a club record.
After Bill Shankly replaced Taylor, Shankly and his fellow 'Boot Room' coaching staff embarked upon a clear out of 24 players. Hunt however was retained and was a major factor in the Reds success in the 1960s. Liverpool gained 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 Town, former club Bury and Middlesbrough.
It was a similar story in 1963–64 and 1965–66 as Liverpool were English League champions. Hunt again the top scorer (as he was for eight straight seasons) 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 and strike partner Ian St. John scored the second as the Reds recorded a 2–1 victory over Leeds United at Wembley. 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 after extra time to Borussia Dortmund.
He became Liverpool's record goalscorer on 7 November 1967 in an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup tie against TSV Munich of West Germany, in which he scored his 242nd goal for the club. His final tally for the club was 286 goals by the time he left the club in 1969 to join Bolton Wanderers, a record which was not broken until Ian Rush 23 years later.
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 Chile, but was not selected to play.
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.
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.
After retiring from football in 1972, Hunt joined his family's haulage company and in 1975 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 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 teammates, 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 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.
Hunt married Patricia in 1959. The marriage was dissolved in 1981. Hunt has two children, a son, David (b 1960), and a daughter, Julie (b 1965). He now lives with his second wife Rowan in Warrington.
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