News

Football legend Jimmy Hill passes away

NewsBy Alan Sherry
jimmy hill.jpg
jimmy hill.jpg

FOOTBALL legend Jimmy Hill has died at the age of 87 following a battle with Alzheimer’s.

The former Match of the Day presenter had many other roles in the football world from player, manager and chairman to head of the Professional Footballers’ Association.

In a statement, his agent, Jane Morgan, said: "It is with great sadness that Bryony Hill and the children of Jimmy Hill have announced that Jimmy passed away peacefully aged 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Bryony was beside him."

During his time with the PFA he led a campaign to do away with maximum wages for players.

He also helped establish a player’s right to freedom of movement at the end of a contract and getting three points instead of two for a win.

He played as a striker at Brentford and Fulham and as manager led Coventry to Division Three and Division Two titles.

He went on to became chairman at Coventry where there is a statue in his honour.

Current Coventry manager, Tony Mowbray, paid tribute to Hill today.

He said: “Everyone at the club is in a state of shock and deep sadness at hearing the news of Jimmy’s death. History tells us that without the efforts of Jimmy, both on the pitch and off it, Coventry City’s future will have been extremely different from what it is today.

“There are very few examples which can contend with the amount Jimmy achieved at the club during such a small amount of time. He was a forward-thinker and a revolutionary who was determined to take Coventry and football forwards.

“The changes he made gave the club, the city and the supporters an identity and a club they can be proud of, and for that, the club will be eternally grateful.”

Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, said: "For generations of fans Jimmy Hill was an authoritative voice as both a presenter and analyst.

"He was committed to innovation in every aspect of the game, including broadcasting and always believed supporters came first. His influence lives on in the programmes we enjoy today."

Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport added: "Jimmy Hill was an iconic and unique figure and we are all deeply saddened by the news.

"He was one of the great innovators and a huge talent, a man ahead of his time with a personality that dominated his era both in football and broadcasting.

"Jimmy was also a dear friend and colleague to many at the BBC and will be greatly missed."