Roger Hunt made Honorary Freeman

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report & pictures Paul Jackson

WARRINGTON’S most famous footballing son, world cup winner Roger Hunt, has been made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough by the council.

An extraordinary meeting of councillors was called to award the honour at the town hall.

Leader of the Council Terry O’Neill, who proposed the award, gave a brief history telling how Roger was born in Glazebury in 1938 and began his playing career at Stockton Heath F.C. now the mighty Warrington Town, before making his move to Liverpool F.C. in 1959.

In one season, he netted 41 goals in as many games. He finished top scorer for the club for 8 consecutive seasons. He also scored in the F.A. Cup final as his team beat Leeds 2-1.

Roger had the honour of scoring the first ever goal on the BBC’s new Match of The Day program. His career ended in retirement in 1972 when he played his last game for Bolton Wanderers.

The forward was also selected to play for England on 34 occasions culminating in him playing in all 6 matches in the 1966 finals, while scoring 3 goals to help his country win the Jules Rimet World Cup.

In 2000 Roger received an M.B.E. for his services to football achievements and his many charitable works, but his roots were never forgotten and when Warrington Town were achieving their marvellous success in the 2014 F.A. Cup, Roger was there to offer support and a pep talk. He continues to be Honorary Vice-President of Warrington Town giving up his time to support many fundraisers and donating autographed items.

After his football career ended Roger began the Roger Hunt 11 charity where, along with other sports people helped raise money for a wide range of charities. He supported the wife of his team mate Bobby Moore, Stephanie, with the fund in his name. St. Rocco’s and Alder Hey Hospital were also helped by Roger and more recently he helped to provide support and funds for the families affected by the Hillsborough tragedy. He remains a patron of The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation.

Locally the former player has been instrumental in Culture Warrington winning a grant from the F.A. to celebrate England’s world cup victory in 1966. This year marks the 50th. anniversary of the win and Roger opened a special exhibition, held at the Lymm Hotel, which had hosted the famous Brazil squad.

Roger continues to live locally in Croft with his wife Rowan and is a humble man despite being a sporting legend and one of Warrington’s finest.

Accepting his award Roger thanked the members of the Council and everybody involved for bestowing him this honour. It overwhelmed him as he is a hometown boy and a very proud Warringtonian. He went on to thank Gpeff Settle, former Mayor and Liverpool supporter, who had been instrumental in proposing the Freeman of Warrington accolade be given to one of his hero’s.

He was presented with his honour by current Mayor Faisal Rashid and promised that the next time he would be seen he would be “driving his sheep over Bridge Foot!”

Roger Hunt with his framed certificate - Picture Paul Jackson

Roger Hunt with his framed certificate – Picture Paul Jackson

Roger Hunt with the Mayor and members of his family at the town hall. Picture Paul Jackson

Roger Hunt with the Mayor and members of his family at the town hall.
Picture Paul Jackson

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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