Legendary BBC presenter Jimmy Hill passes away aged 87

The iconic broadcaster presented Match of the Day on more than 600 occasions

BY Adrian Collins 13:38 Saturday 19 December 2015, 13:38 19 Dec 2015

Image: PA / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Legendary football broadcaster and former player Jimmy Hill passed away on Saturday.

The former BBC presenter had been battling Alzheimer's since being diagnosed with the condition in 2008, and had spent recent years in a nursing home near Sussex. 

In his football career, which spanned over five decades, Jimmy Hill played for Brentford and Fulham, but he really became a household name as the presenter of the flagship football show Match of the Day, before moving to Sky Sports in 1999.

Born in 1928, Hill did national service in the Royal Army Service Corps before turning to football and starting his career with Brentford. In 1952, he moved to Fulham, making over 270 appearances for the club before retiring at age 33. 

He spent several years managing Coventry, leading them to top flight promotion, before turning to broadcasting in the late 1960s, starting with London Weekend Television and fronting their World Cup coverage in 1970. 

Image: JOHN STILLWELL / PA Archive/PA Images

His long stint as the face of BBC's Match of the Day ran until 1999, when he moved to Sky Sports to present Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement, before retiring in 2007. 

In a statement, Hill's agent said "It is with great sadness that Bryony Hill and the children of Jimmy Hill have announced that Jimmy passed away peacefully aged 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Bryony was beside him".

Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport stated "Jimmy Hill was an iconic and unique figure and we are all deeply saddened by the news. He was one of the great innovators and a huge talent, a man ahead of his time with a personality that dominated his era both in football and broadcasting".

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