Former England footballer Norman Hunter has died aged 76 from coronavirus ©Getty Images

Former England international footballer Norman Hunter, who was a member of the country's 1966 World Cup winning squad has died from coronavirus at the age of 76.

Hunter, a defender who played more than 700 times for British club Leeds United over a 14 year period, was nicknamed "Bites Yer Legs" and known for his tough tackling style.

He won 28 caps for his country, and although he was part of the squad that won the World Cup for England in 1966 he did not play any matches as he was understudy to the late Bobby Moore, who captained England to their World Cup triumph and is widely regarded as one of the great defenders.

Born in October 1943 in County Durham, Hunter left school at the age of 15 to work as an electrical fitter.

While playing junior football he was scouted by Leeds United and made his debut for the club at the age of 18 in September 1962.

During his Leeds career, Hunter won two English league titles, two European trophies and three domestic trophies.

Hunter also played with three further English clubs - Bristol City and Barnsley and managed Barnsley, Rotherham United and Bradford City.

Hunter went on to work in the media, and was a familiar voice on local radio commentaries of Leeds United for 20 years.

Tributes have poured in to Hunter, with the leader of Leeds City Council describing his passing as "a sad day for Leeds."

"I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the tragic news that Norman has passed away," said Judith Blake, the council's leader.

"He was a legend on the pitch and an absolute gentleman off it. 

"It was a true honour to see him awarded the Freedom of the City with his teammates last December.

"Along with thousands of people in Leeds and beyond Norman Hunter was a hero of mine and I have treasured memories of watching him play as a child. 

"Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with his family, friends, former teammates and everyone connected with Leeds United."

Leeds United have started a digital book of condolence following Hunter's passing, and in less than 24 hours it had already received more than 7900 entries.