Eric Hall dead: Legendary former football and showbiz agent dies aged 73
ric Hall, the former football agent and music promoter who claimed to have “brought showbiz into football”, has died at the age of 73.
The larger-than-life figure with the big cigar and catchphrase “Monster, monster”, was the most recognised agent of his time. With a background in the music industry, he worked with the likes of Queen, the Sex Pistols and Elton John before crossing into football, following a meeting with Tottenham captain Steve Perryman.
Tributes on Tuesday ranged from football to the silver screen, with Swedish actress Britt Ekland saying: “RIP Eric Hall, we had a lot of super fun monster monster times in the 90s.”
Former Tottenham owner Lord Sugar said: “Football agent Eric Hall has passed away. He was a real character. RIP.”
Leading football agent Jon Smith wrote: “Eric Hall has died — he was one of my biggest protagonists over the years who became a friend and was even one of my ushers when I marred Lee. I will miss the little Bubblah. The afterlife will be a little more fun today, but that’s our sad loss. RIP Buddy.”
Hall began his career in the music industry and was responsible for booking the Sex Pistols’ infamous, foul-mouthed television interview with Bill Grundy. He was close to Marc Bolan and was with him moments before his death in 1977.
He also claimed the Queen hit Killer Queen was written about him. Away from the attention-grabbing stories, he became a central figure in the football industry.
He reportedly agreed Gary Lineker’s first boot deal and represented some of the biggest names in the sport at the time: John Fashanu, Dennis Wise and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, as well as Tottenham and England manager Terry Venables.
He suffered a falling out with Fashanu over his decision to help his brother Justin sell his story to a national newspaper, coming out as gay. The pair never spoke again.
With his gregarious outfits and huge cigar clasped between his teeth, Hall became as memorable a figure as the big-money deals he thrashed out, while admitting later that he had little interest in football.
He famously stepped in to act as the agent to Wimbledon goalkeeper Dave Beasant for his switch to Newcastle. Retelling the story, Hall said: “I’m giving it all my schtick, ‘This player’s great and I want bonuses of £9,000 a goal and, after 10 goals, an extra £100,000’. Newcastle said, ‘Our pleasure, Eric’. I came out of the meeting and Dave said, ‘Eric, do you know what position I play? Goalkeeper’.”
Referring to himself as “the guv’nor”, he said the current crop of agents owed him a debt of gratitude.
“Good luck to the agents now,” he said.
“Whatever money they earn, they should earn more. But there wouldn’t be any of the super agents now if it wasn’t for me. I brought the showbiz into it. I was the guv’nor.”