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A Proud Norman At No.10
A Proud Norman At No.10
Norman Hunter with his 1966 World Cup winners medal.

Before 1974 only the eleven players who played in a World Cup Final recieved a medal. It was in November 2007 that Sepp Blatter announced that all the squad players between 1930 and 1974 that were part of a World Cup winning side should be given the medals that they should by rights have recieved originally. This was a grand gesture that was well recieved and meant that Norman Hunter the Leeds United centre back of Revie's Golden era and also Jimmy Armfield the Leeds United manager from 1974 to 1978 would finally recieve their World Cup medals. This was a justice served for the playing staff but it still overlooked the people who's contributions off the field were essential to any teams success and in England's case it was Sir Alf Ramsey the manager, United's own Les Cocker the team physio and Harold Shepherdson the team trainer. In May, 2009 however the non playing staff also looked set to recieve their medals after it was made known that 14 medals were being minted for each World Cup winning Squad, 11 for playing staff and a further 3 for coaching staff with the final decision on the recipients going to the countries regulating bodies. This meant that almost certainly Les Cocker Leeds United's backroom stalwart of the sixties and seventies would finally recieve his acknowledgement for the vital contributions he made towards England's achievement in 1966.
Les Cocker who died in 1979 did recieve his medal, his son David Cocker accepted the award on his behalf, along with Norman Hunter and Jimmy Armfield. The awards were handed out by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a ceremony at 10 Downing Street on June 30th, 2009.

Norman Hunter from Gateshead, North East England joined Leeds United on 1st April, 1961. Spotted by the United scouts while playing for a local amateur side, Hunter gave up his job as an electrical fitter to join The Whites at the age of 15. Hunter made his first appearance for Leeds in the season 1962-63 and went on to make 41 appearances in all competiton's that season and score two goals. He soon made the No.6 shirt his own as United's centre back forming a formidable partnership with Jack Charlton that lasted for ten years and into the bargain Hunter also earned himself the nickname 'Bite Yer Legs' because of his hard no nonsense approach. Hunter spent 16 years at Elland Road, played in 15 seasons and made 722 appearances for the Whites in all competiton's plus 2 as substitute and scored 21 goals. His last season with Leeds was 1976-77 where he made 9 starts but left for Bristol City on the 8th October 1976. The successful partnership between Bobby Moore and Hunter's partner at Leeds Jack Charlton limited Hunter's apperances for the national side. He made his debut as substitute in a friendly against Spain on 12th August, 1965. Hunter won 28 caps for England and scored two goals, the national team only lost six of the games Hunter featured in. Hunter was part of the England squad that lifted the World Cup in 1966 and his last appearance wearing the three lions was against Czechoslovakia on 30th, October 1974 in an European Championship Qualifier which England won 3-0.

Thanks to Dave Cocker for this great pic.
Submitted: 08/10/09 (Edited 08/10/09)
Tags: normanhunter
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