LEGENDARY former Match of the Day presenter Jimmy Hill has passed away at the age of 87.
His family have released a statement confirming that the football icon died peacefully on December 19.
Jane Morgan, spokeswoman for Hill’s wife Bryony, said: “It is with great sadness that Bryony Hill and the children of Jimmy Hill have announced that Jimmy passed away peacefully today aged 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bryony was beside him.”
The former footballer played 276 appearances for Fulham before his retirement in 1961 and then went onto a successful coaching career with Coventry until 1967, masterminding the club’s ‘Sky Blue Revolution’ which saw the team reach the top flight for the first time just after he retired.
However, it was as a football pundit that Hill became a house-hold name, fronting the BBC’s World-Cup coverage in 1970, before moving onto his signature role as Match of the Day presenter, which he fronted 600 times, covering every major international tournament until his departure for Sky Sports in 1999.
Known as much for his distinctive chin as his keen footballing insights, Hill was a true football man, who also acted as a coach, union leader, chairman and even a linesman. He commissioned the first all-seater stadium in England, pioneered 3 points for a win scoring, helped scrap the maximum wage for players, and conceived panel punditry for live television coverage.