The former Fulham player and Match Of The Day presenter Jimmy Hill has died aged 87, his agent has announced.
The Londoner, who made his name playing for Fulham in the 1950s, enjoyed a second career as a distinguished broadcaster. He died after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years.
In a statement, his agent, Jane Morgan, 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.”
Hill will be cremated at a private ceremony. A service for his friends and colleagues will be held in the new year, his agent said.
After finishing his playing career Hill managed Coventry City in the 1960s before moving into broadcasting.
Hill had played as a junior at Fulham but went on to sign for Brentford in 1949, where he made 87 appearances before moving to Fulham three years later.
He scored 52 goals in close to 300 games for the Cottagers including a goal in each round of Fulham’s FA Cup run to the Semi-Final in 1958. He suffered a career ending injury in 1961.
He became the chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association in 1957, where he made a significant impact.
During his spell as the PFA chairman, Hill successfully campaigned for the abolition of the 20-a-week maximum wage and to introduce freedom of contract.
After his retirement at the age of 33 in 1961 he took his only managerial role at Coventry and changed the club’s strip colour to sky blue and Hill also introduced the first-ever colour match programme in English football.
He led the club to the Division Three championship in 1963-84 and the Division Two title three years later but he quit the club shortly after before the start of their top-flight campaign.
Hill returned to Fulham as Chairman in April 1987 when the club was on the edge of extinction and led them until the arrival of Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Hill was the Head of Sport at ITV between 1968 and 1972, a spell which including fronting the coverage of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. He moved to the BBC in 1973 where he became the host of Match of the Day before Des Lynam took over the reins in 1989.
He made more than 600 appearances on the show as both a presenter and analyst.