Leeds United's top 30 players of all time - Number 4

Leeds United

At 4 in the countdown is a defender whose notorious reputation often overshadowed the fact that he was a highly-talented footballer.

Norman Hunter's hard style of play may have seen him earn the nickname Bites Yer Legs - which was originally given to him by Leeds United supporters - but his reputation as a tough-tackling defender has often meant that his ability with the ball has been overlooked.

Hunter came into the Whites' side in 1962 to play alongside established star Jack Charlton. Together, the pair would remain one of the key partnerships for over a decade and often kept some of the finest forwards that England, and Europe, had to offer at bay. 

Within two seasons of his first-team debut, he was helping Leeds get out of the Second Division. He featured in every single league game for the side, and would go on to make at least 40 league appearances in each of the next five campaigns.

He helped United win the league title, League Cup, FA Cup and Fairs Cup twice during his first decade with the club, and they came close to adding to that trophy haul on numerous occasions.

And if there was any doubt over how important Hunter was, the fact that Leeds won the title in the first season following Charlton's retirement in 1973 and began the campaign with a 29 game unbeaten run proves just how valuable he was as he was paired with Gordon McQueen. The Scottish defender had only made six appearances for the club before the campaign, but became a regular following the end of Charlton's career.

And while the transition could have been difficult, Hunter's consistency ensured that Leeds remained at the top following the change, and at the end of the campaign he was recognised for his contribution by becoming the inaugural recipient of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.  

While he was never a regular goalscorer - scoring 18 times in the league during his entire career at Elland Road - he boasted a tremendous amount of technical ability.

And while his reputation suggests that winning the ball was not on his mind when he went into a tackle, the fact that Leeds were so successful during that period proves that he had the quality to ensure that he won the ball more often than not. 

The England international - who was part of the squad that won the 1966 World Cup - left Elland Road in 1976. And while some defenders have come close to his standards since, there have arguably been none quite as talented as Norman Hunter.

Countdown so far: Number 30, Number 29, Number 28, Number 27, Number 26, Number 25, Number 24, Number 23, Number 22, Number 21, Number 20, Number 19, Number 18, Number 17, Number 16, Number 15, Number 14, Number 13, Number 12, Number 11, Number 10, Number 9, Number 8, Number 7, Number 6, Number 5

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