English Premiership

'Donkey kick' striker Hunt dies

2018-06-21 15:33
RIP

London - Ernie Hunt whose "donkey kick" volleyed freekick in 1970 led to a change in English football's rules, has died aged 75 one of his former clubs Coventry announced.

Hunt's volleyed his goal - against one of his former clubs Everton - after Coventry team-mate Willie Carr gripped the ball between his heels and flicked it up behind his back. It is also famous for being the first goal to be shown in colour on the BBC's famous highlights programme "Match of The Day".

"Coventry City Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the death of the former striker Ernie Hunt," said the club in a statement.

"Hunt passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 75 in a care home in Gloucestershire (south west England), having been suffering from Alzheimer's disease."

Hunt later recalled how he had to explain to Coventry manager Noel Cantwell why they hadn't tried it in the first-half of the First Division clash.

"I told him I wanted to wait until the kick was in the dead centre," said Hunt.

"When the chance came in the second half, I was contemplating slipping it through Willie's legs for Dave Clements to blast it but decided to give the donkey kick a crack and gave the sign -- the rest is history."

Then Everton manager Harry Catterick did not share in the general accolades for the goal declaring that it was "something out of a circus".

Indeed it was to win the BBC's goal of the season but Hunt only had one more shot at using the trick - hitting the bar against Tottenham Hotspur - as the move was outlawed by the game's rule-makers.

They decided it was illegal because the ball had not travelled its full circumference either forwards or backwards.

Originally a railway worker, Hunt began his career making more than 200 appearances for hometown club Swindon before moving to Wolverhampton Wanderers. He then had a brief spell with the Los Angeles Wolves in the United States before returning to England to Everton ahead of signing for Coventry, where he played 173 times.

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