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Mel Hopkins (born 7 November 1934 in Ystrad Rhondda[1]) was a Wales international football player. He played at left back.


Club career

The son of a miner[2], he was signed by Tottenham Hotspur at the age of 15, when spotted playing for his local boy's club.[3]. He was taken on as an apprentice after just one trial.[2] Mel Hopkins made his debut in January 1952[4] and winning a League and FA Cup double in 1961.[5][6] In 1959, he suffered a serious injury following a collision with Ian St John, smashing his nose and upper jaw, an injury which would keep him out of football for two years.[3]

In total, Hopkins played 219 games for Spurs, before leaving Spurs for Brighton and Hove Albion in October 1964 for a transfer fee of £8,000.[3][4] He scored 2 goals and played 58 games for Albion. A brief spell at Ballymena United in Northern Ireland 1967 was followed by a move to Bradford Park Avenue in 1968, where he played 30 games, retiring in 1970.[1]

International career

Hopkins played for his country between 1956 and 1963[7], earning 34 caps[1] including playing for the Wales squad for the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, where they lost narrowly to Brazil in the quarter-finals.

In 2003, Hopkins was given a merit award by the Football Association of Wales.[8]

Personal life

Mel Hopkins is now retired.[3][9]


Further reading

  • Ashley Drake Publishing - When Pele Broke Our Hearts


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