In a team full of hard men Norman Hunter stood out as someone not to mess with. His strength in the tackle and uncompromising approach earned him the nickname, 'bite yer legs' Hunter. A towering centre-half at Leeds for 14 years, Hunter is one of the best remembered of Don Revie's all-conquering Leeds side of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Despite his reputation as an enforcer Hunter could also play. Originally an inside forward, it was Revie who moulded the lad from Gateshead into a centre-half, but his composure on the ball and eye for a pass marked him out as a player who could hold his own higher up the pitch.
One of the finest moments of Hunter's illustrious career came in 1972 when he finally picked up an FA Cup winner's medal at Wembley. By that point he had already been on the losing side in two Cup finals and could be forgiven for thinking United were jinxed in the competition. His long pass started the move for Billy Bremner's goal in the 1965 final but Leeds ended up losing 2-1 to Liverpool. Five years later and he was involved again when United lost a bad-tempered final to Chelsea after a replay.
In 1972, things were different. It was the centenary of the great competition and the holders, Arsenal, stood in the way of Hunter and his Leeds team-mates. In a tense game, Hunter and the United defence snuffed out the threat of Arsenal's strike pairing of John Radford and Charlie George.
With the defence holding firm, it was left to striker Allan Clarke to provide the moment of quality that won the Cup. Clarke's spectacular diving header decided the game and Hunter's celebration – an ecstatic star jump – was captured by the cameras and remains one of the enduring images of Revie's great Leeds side. After the game, Hunter went up the famous Wembley stairs not once, but twice. After collecting his own medal he came back to help the injured Mick Jones to the Royal Box in what was a poignant moment.
Along with the FA Cup Hunter won two First Division titles, a League Cup and two Fairs Cups while he was at Leeds. His England career was hampered by being a contemporary of two of the country's greatest ever centre-halves – his team-mate Jack Charlton and the great Bobby Moore.
The success of that partnership meant that Hunter was an unused squad member in the 1966 World Cup-winning campaign and was mainly an understudy during his international career. Nonetheless, he still won 28 caps for his country and is still remembered as one of the best, and toughest defenders of his generation.