Gordon Hodgson: Wikis

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Gordon Hodgson
Gordon Hodgson.jpg
Gordon Hodgson in 1926
Personal information
Full name Gordon Hodgson
Date of birth 16 April 1904(1904-04-16)
Place of birth Johannesburg, South Africa
Date of death 14 June 1951 (aged 47)
Place of death Stoke-on-Trent, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1919–1921 Benoni
1921–1922 Rustenburg
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1922–192 Pretoria
1924–1925 Transvaal
1925–1936 Liverpool 358 (233)
1936–1937 Aston Villa 28 (11)
1937–1939 Leeds United 82 (51)
Total 468+ (295+)
National team
1924 South Africa (amateur) 1 (0)
1930–1931 England 3 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gordon Hodgson (16 April 1904 – 14 June 1951) was a South African-born English sportsman, being best known for as a striker for Liverpool and also a first-class cricketer for Lancashire, he also excelled at Baseball.[1]

Contents

Football career

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Club career

Hodgson was spotted by Liverpool officials when touring England with South African side Transvaal and was signed by manager Matt McQueen on 14 December 1925 along with fellow countrymen Arthur Riley and James Gray.[1] He made his debut against Manchester City at Maine Road on 27 February 1926 in a 1-1 draw, he opened his account eleven days later when he got a brace against the other Mancunian side and bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on 10 March, a game ended in a 2-all draw. He went on to play 12 more games during the run in to the end of his first season for the Reds scoring 4 goals.[2]

The two goals against United were a taste of things to come, as Hodgson went from strength to strength in front of goal, scoring goals for fun, in fact, the only thing missing from what would have been a perfect career was honours; Liverpool of the day were not a team that challenged the top sides and were even in the shadow of the blue half of Liverpool, Everton.[1]

Gordon scored 18 goals in his first full season but it was the 1930-31 season that was the one to remember for Hodgson as he broke the Anfield goalscoring record banging in 36 goals, all in the league, a feat not surpassed until the emergence of Roger Hunt in the 1960s.[2] This record followed the 32 he scored during the 1928-29 campaign. Hodgson also got 23 in 1928-29, 27 in 1931-32, 24 in 1928-29, 25 in 1933-34 and 29 in 1934-35, a truly remarkable record. During his time at the club he made 378 appearances, scoring a prolific 240 goals an average of a goal every 1.56 games. Hodgson's 17 hat-tricks is still a Liverpool record,[1] his first hat-trick coming in the 21st, 55th and the 61st minutes of the First Division match against Sheffield United at Anfield on the 11 September 1926, the other 2 goals were scored by the player who eventually made way for Hodgson, Dick Forshaw.

The 1935-36 season proved to be the 31 year old Hodgson's final at Liverpool, he was selected 17 times and scored 9 goals, yet again a descent return. In January 1936 he was allowed to leave and signed for recently relegated Aston Villa for £3,000,[2] his stay with Villa in the Second Division was a short one season quickly leaving for Leeds United in May 1937. While at Aston Villa, Hodgson scored 11 league goals in 28 league games.[3]

At Leeds he showed that he still had what it took to score goals at the top level, in his first season at Leeds he played 13 times scoring 6 goals, the usual return everyone had come to expect from the talented Hodgson.[2] The following term was much the same with Gordon scoring 26 goals in 38 games including all 4 against his old Merseyside rivals Everton in a 4-4 draw at Elland Road on 26 February, he also hit 3 against Brentford on the 23 April at home, both hat-tricks were in 1938, he even got a goal at Anfield in a 1-1 draw with his former employers. The following season was much the same with Gordon hitting 21 in 33 including five in the 8-2 thrashing of Leicester City on 1 October 1938,[2] this still remains a record for Leeds and has never even been equalled.[4]

If it were not for the start World War II Hodgson would have gone on to surpass 100 games for the Yorkshire club, scoring plenty of goals whilst doing so.[2] He also worked as the youth team coach at Leeds. Hodgson carried on playing during the war, guesting for Hartlepools United and York City.[5]

International career

Hodgson became a South Africa amateur international on 2 November 1924, playing against Netherlands.[2] Though this would not prevent him from representing England in the future.

Hodgson picked up three caps for England, his debut came on 20 October 1930 in a 5-1 British Home Championship match win against Ireland at Bramall Lane. His only international goal came on 22 November 1930, again, in a British Championship game, this time in a 4-0 victory over Wales at The Racecourse Ground.[6] Surprisingly for many, the prolific Hodgson only played for England in one international with Everton's Dixie Dean, the other prolific striker on Merseyside.

Cricketing career

Hodgson could have quite easily have played more First Class matches than he did, but his true love was football so his cricket stats are somewhat restricted.[2] However, he did manage to make 56 appearances, 244 runs and take 148 wickets for Lancashire between 1928 and 1933.[7]

Football management career

Hodgson took over the managerial reigns at Port Vale in October 1946, it was there that he began to learn the ropes of management. He was manager when the Valiants moved from The Old Recreation Ground to their new home of Vale Park in 1950.[2]

He was greatly respected for his pre-war sporting career, but also for encouraging young footballers in North Staffordshire. However he failed to build a promotion winning team at the club before his death on 14 June 1951 due to cancer, he was still in office at the time and was in Stoke-on-Trent at the time of his death.[5]

References

External links


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