Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? Part XXVII

In recent times Blues have been blessed with goalscorers getting hat-tricks; Marlon King this season, Nikola Zigic (who got 4 against Leeds) and Chris Wood last season immediately spring to mind as players who have walked off with a match ball. The player I’m going to talk about today not only scored a hat-trick for Blues but managed three of them in 11 months in a Blues shirt – not bad considering he wasn’t a striker. I am of course referring to Jonathan Hunt.

Jonathan Hunt

I know people will disagree with me here but I reckon Hunt was probably one of our better players under Barry Fry. Like Ricky Otto, Hunt followed Fry from his previous charges Southend United to St Andrews (he’d also played under him at Barnet) in September 1994 and he played at Blues for three years. In the eleven months from signing for Blues Hunt got three hat-tricks; in the 5-3 win over Peterborough in the Auto Windscreens in September 1994, the 5-0 win over Crewe in November 1994 and then in the following season the 3-1 win over Norwich City in August 1995.

In one hundred and two appearances, Hunt got twenty-five goals and was top goalscorer for Blues in the 95-96 season with 15. However, after the departure of Barry Fry Hunt found it difficult to get first team football and was moved on by new manager Trevor Francis for £500,000 to Derby County, recouping the full sum spent on him by Fry.

Derby were in the top flight at the time and the midfielder did get to play (and score) in the Premier League but in two seasons he only made seven starts and having been loaned out to Sheffield United and Ipswich Town of the Championship. Hunt made the move to the Blades permanently in 1999 in a player exchange for Vas Borbokis.

Unfortunately for Jonathan his injuries really started to bite now. He had struggled with them back at Blues and Fry had had to look after him to get the best out of him but by the time he had joined Sheffield United in 1999 his back and pelvis were really flaring up. Hunt made 22 league appearances for the Blades, but found himself out of favour when Neil Warnock was appointed manager and was dumped on the transfer list. Hunt found himself out on loan at Division Two side Cambridge United and then at the end of the 1999/2000 season Sheffield United paid up his contract and let him go.

Hunt then pitched up at Wimbledon, but again appeared only intermittently and almost moved to rejoin Barry Fry at Peterborough United in the winter of 2001 before changing his mind. Released at the end of that season having made twelve league appearances for the Dons, it was 12 months before he got another club – and in what might seem a twist of fate he ended up at the Posh. Despite Fry saying he would give Hunt a debut almost straight away the midfielder never played in Peterborough colours and in the summer of 2003 found himself released.

At the age of 32, with his back and pelvis in pieces Hunt retired from professional football. However, it was at this time he was to find his new calling – Hanna Somatics. Having discovered the therapy as a way to rid his body of the pain he had suffered throughout his professional career, Hunt studied it and is now a qualified therapist – except instead of working with humans he is an Equine Hanna Somatic Practitioner, working with racehorses.

There must be something in it as in February 2008, at the age of 36 Hunt joined St Albans City of the Conference South on a short-term deal. Playing for his former team-mate at Blues Steve Castle, Hunt made 49 appearances for the club which he’d ironically started out at as an 18-year-old. He stayed at St Albans until the end of the 08/09 season, when he moved on initially to Harrow Borough before signing up with Hornchurch of the Ryman League. In 2012 Hunt moved on to Enfield Town of the Ryman League and last week he made history, becoming the oldest ever goalscorer for Enfield at the age of 41 as he scored in the 2-0 win over Harrow Borough.

It’s been some journey for Hunt – from triple hat-trick goalscorer at Blues to horse whisperer and still breaking records now at his new club.


19 Responses to “Where Are They Now? Part XXVII”

  • Tom says:

    Good old boy tell him I know a Sunday league team that would look after him

  • Art Watson says:

    I don’t disagree with you-I thought he was a very good player who always appeared to have plenty of time on the ball..

  • Rave on says:

    Shearer, ward and hunt were a brilliant midfield in that promotion winning team of 94/95

    Some great memories of that season

  • prewarblue says:

    He was a good player for us,,,,,pity we dont have a player of the same quality now

  • James King says:

    Really enjoyed this piece. Remember my friend at school who was a Birmingham fan raving about Jonathan Hunt and always being disappointed to see him slide down the divisions. Great to hear that he’s found a way to overcome his injuries and that he’s still playing at a decent level.

  • Paul Carter - The Peoples Favourite says:

    A good signing who we recouped our money on and who stodd out as skilful at a time when this quality was sadly bereft at the Blues.

    Saw all his hat tricks including the one at Peterboro which set us on the road to Wembley.

  • Big Al says:

    I always thought watching him play that he was good enough for the premier league. One of the best attacking midfielders I’ve ever seen in a Blues shirt. Might need to look this Hanna lass up.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Hunt did seem to be a cut above, with seemingly effortless time on the ball.
    I always felt he had another gear to go up , which was frustrating.

    Peter Shearer was also magnificent in the promotion year ,a leader & goalscorer from central midfield , & surely but for injuries would have played at a higher level .

    The best player under Barry Fry ? & theres plenty to choose from , Liam Daish , a great defender , a great leader , and a winner . How we could do with a Daish now..

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Jonathan Hunt was a rare footballer who was as strong with his right foot as his left, in other words two-footed.
    Santi Cazorla of Arsenal is a present day example.Bobby Charlton was a classic example.
    However, being only able to kick with one foot didn’t hinder Puskas,Maradona.Beckham and Alan Ball.

  • Paul Carter - The Peoples Favourite says:

    The best player under Barry Fry?

    I like Jose, Pesch, Claridge, francis, Ward, Daish, Johnno but there was that many I’ve probably forgotten a load.

    Hey Dan, you being a journo, do you have a list of all the players Bazza signed.

    Loved the bloke, a perfect fit for Blues.

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    A hat trick from midfield that sounds good when was the last time a blues player did that

  • Big Al says:

    I saw Mcsheffrey score a hatrick against Preston but he was playing as a striker that day.

  • Bring back Bazza says:

    I remember one really cold night, in an early round cup game at a very sparse stans (can’t remember who it was against), Hunty was giving the ball away all game. He got the ball about 35 yards out and I gobbed ‘pass it you ******* idiot’, just as he smacked it into the back of the net…..

    Good player when he wanted it.

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