By Bernard O’Neill
Pete Taylor, dad and former coach of Olympic and pro champion Katie Taylor, was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Leeds United great Norman Hunter.
Hunter recently was admitted to hospital with the coronavirus last week died from the disease last Friday aged 76.
Yorkshire native Taylor, a Leeds United fan, as is his daughter, met the midfield enforcer once in a market in the UK.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of his death. He was one of the Leeds United greats and my favourite player from that era,” said Taylor who helped street his daughter to Ireland’s only gold medal in any sport this century at London 2012.
“I met him once at a market. I just went over, shook his hand and told him I was a big fan. When I was growing up, Leeds were my team; they still are,” said Taylor.
“I remember the team; Norman, Alan Clarke, Paul Reaney, Gary Sparke, Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer, Mick Jones, John Giles, what a player he was. I could name them all off by heart.
“Norman gave it everything. Anyone that came into his patch, it was his ball,” added Taylor who has a pro stable of sixteen fighters, all of whom he’s training online because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
“You’d rather have eleven Norman Hunters that eleven of some of the players these days. Roy Keane’s cut from the same cloth. Norman was like Roy; he’d go through you for the ball.
“Norman Hunter always gave it everything for the team. May he rest in peace.”
Meanwhile, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are still slated for July 4 in Manchester, but there’s a strong possibility that the fight will go ahead behind closed doors if it does go ahead on the above date which is two days after Taylor’s 34th birthday.
Taylor is likely to meet Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus if she sees off the New York-based southpaw in Manchester.
Braekhus has already said she wants a fight with Taylor sooner rather than later.
Both women won back-to-back 60kg and 63kg titles at the 2005 European Elite Championships in Norway.