ERNIE HUNT

Iconic 1970s figure passes away...

THE FOOTBALL world lost one of the perpetrators of one of the 1970s most iconic moments with the news that Ernie Hunt had died in a Gloucestershire nursing home this week at the age of 75 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Hunt, playing for Coventry City at the time, developed the infamous ‘Donkey kick’ along with team mate Wilie Carr which received worldwide exposure in the 3-1 win over Everton at Highfield Road on BBC’s Match of the day back in October 1970.

The move was show pieced when Coverntry were awarded a free kick some 25 yards from goal and involved Carr clamping the ball between his boots before flicking his heels up behind him and releasing the ball which Hunt volleyed home with aplomb prompting commentator Barry Davies to announce: “They don’t come much better that!” The strike won the inaugural Goal of the Season award but the ‘Donkey kick’ was outlawed at the end of the season.

Hunt, christened Roger but known Ernie to avoid confusion with Liverpool’s World Cup winner of the same name, began his career at his hometown club Swindon Town in 1959 where he played 214 times, and was until 1980, the club’s youngest ever debutant at 16 years 182 days, before going on to appear for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton, Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers and Bristol City as well as winning three England under 23 caps before retiring to the non-league game in 1974.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.