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legendary striker John Aldridge pays emotional tribute to Roger Hunt as he passes away at the age of 83

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Chelsea’s Ron Harris tackles Liverpool’s Roger Hunt (PA)

Chelsea’s Ron Harris tackles Liverpool’s Roger Hunt (PA)

Chelsea’s Ron Harris tackles Liverpool’s Roger Hunt (PA)

John Aldridge has paid a moving tribute to his all-time football hero Roger Hunt, after the 1966 World Cup winner passed away at the age of 83.

Hunt is Liverpool's record league goal scorer and an iconic figure at Anfield after he scored an unrivalled 244 league goals for the Reds.

He was also the ultimate idol of Sunday World columnist Aldridge when he was growing up in Liverpool and he summed up his feelings towards Hunt with emotion in his voice.

"Absolutely gutted," said Aldridge. "He has always been my hero and he always will be. "Whenever I was fortunate enough to be in his company, I was in awe of him.

"Sir Roger Hunt was the reason why I wanted to be a striker and the reason why I wanted to wear the No.8 shirt when I joined Liverpool.

"I went to watch Liverpool in the 1960s and he was cult hero. He was someone I looked up to, I wanted to wear the shirt he wore and it was an honour to achieve that.

"Roger Hunt was one of the reasons why Liverpool were a success under Bill Shankly and that team put the foundations down for what was to follow.

"He was my inspiration and I'm so sad to see him pass away. I'm just delighted to have met him and got to know him a little bit. This feels like the passing of a relative for me and a lot of Liverpool fans."

Liverpool said in a statement posted on their official Twitter account: "We are mourning the passing of legendary former player Roger Hunt.

"The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Roger’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time. Rest in peace, Sir Roger Hunt 1938 – 2021."

The tributes continued with a message from the club's current manager Jurgen Klopp as he stated: "It’s really sad news and our thoughts and our love go to his family.

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"Unfortunately, it feels too frequent in this moment we are saying farewell to these giants of our club.

"Roger Hunt comes second to no-one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC, that much is clear.

"To be the goalscoring catalyst of the Shankly team to actually achieve promotion and then go on to win those precious league titles and the FA Cup puts him in a bracket of LFC legends who are responsible for making us the club we are today. Not only that, he was also a World Cup winner in 1966, too.

"I am told the Kop christened him ‘Sir Roger’ for all his achievements. A goal scorer who never stopped working to help his team-mates; I believe he would have fit in well within our current team.

"So, it is Sir Roger we will remember, honour and pay tribute to over the coming days.

"You’ll Never Walk Alone."

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