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Club News

Hodgy retires

30 August 2012

Blades Historian John Garrett pens the following after Thursday's news that former goalkeeper and long-term friend of the club, Alan Hodgkinson, as retired from the professional game.

After a distinguished career, he had latterly worked with another former Blade, Chris Wilder at Oxford United. He is pictured with former team-mate Frank Barlow at last year's FA Cup tie between the Blades and Oxford.

John said: "All at Sheffield United are astonished to learn that Blades legend Alan Hodgkinson has finally decided to hang up his gloves and retire from the professional game at the tragically early age of 76!

"After some 60 years in the professional game it seems that he has finally decided to spend a little more time with wife Brenda and the family - and we bet that they won't know what as hit them!

"Alan is, without a doubt, one of the greatest of servants to have graced Bramall Lane. Born in Thurcroft he joined the Blades from Worksop Town following a successful trial at the tender age of 16 - the £250 transfer fee agreed would prove to be outstanding business

"674 appearances for the Club tell its own story making him our second highest appearance maker ever. In 14 seasons he missed just 27 out of a possible 571 Football League games - an incredible achievement

"The defence of Hodgkinson, Joe Shaw, Cec Coldwell, Gerry Summers, Brian Richardson and Graham Shaw is, without doubt, one of the greatest to represent the Club - all legends in their own right

"Retirement from playing in 1971 saw 'Hodgy' become a vital member of the coaching team for many years until he joined Gerry Summers as Assistant Manager of Gillingham. He then became arguably the first independent goalkeeping coach in the European game, working with such players as David Seaman, Chris Woods and Andy Goram.

"Alan was also a key member of the Scotland International side's coaching staff for many years, but, more crucially is credited with the discovery and mentoring of Peter Schmeichel on behalf of Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.

"Alan was awarded the MBE for his services to football in 2008 and has, for the past few seasons, been working with fellow former Blade Chris Wilder at Oxford United

"He famously tells any keeper he knows coming to play at his beloved Bramall Lane 'hen you walk in the goal in front of the Kop be careful - you are treading in my footsteps!'

"All here wish him the happiest of retirements - we hope it gives him a little bit more time to spend with us back at Bramall Lane!"

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