Gordon Hodgson

Gordon Hodgson (16 April 190414 June, 1951) was a sportsman, being best known for as a striker for Liverpool F.C. and also a first-class cricketer for Lancashire, he also excelled at Baseball.

Life and playing career

Hodgson was born to English parents in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa..

As a footballer

Hodgson was spotted by Liverpool officials when touring England with South African side Transvaal F.C and was signed by manager Matt McQueen on the 14 December 1925 along with fellow countrymen Arthur Riley and James Gray, he made his debut against Man City at Maine Road on the 27 February 1926 in a 1-1 draw, he opened his account 11 days later when he got a brace against the other Mancunian side and bitter rivals Man Utd at Old Trafford on the 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.

The 2 goals against United were a taste of things to come as Gordon 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.

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, this following the 32 he scored during the 1928/29 campaign. Hodgson also got 23 in 1927/28, 27 in 1931/32, 24 in 1932/33, 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 goalscoring record was a feat not surpassed until the emergence of 'Sir' Roger Hunt in the 1960s. Hodgson 17 hat-tricks is still a Liverpool record, his first hat-trick coming in the 21st, 55th and the 61st minutes of the first division match against Sheff 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.

Hodgson, who stood just 5'9" tall, also picked up 3 caps for England, his debut came on the 20 October 1930 in a 5-1 British Championship match win against Ireland at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, his only international goal came on the 22 November 1930, again, in a British Championship game, this time in a 4-0 victory over Wales at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham. Surprisingly for many, the prolific Hodgson only played for England in one international with Everton's Dixie Dean, the other prolific striker on Merseyside, the two of them would surely have been a handful for any defence put in front of them. Hodgson' England appearances were not his only one's at international level, he, unusually, played for South Africa as well.

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, he was allowed to leave and signed for recently relegated Aston Villa for £3,000, his stay with Villa in the Second Division was a short one season quickly leaving for Leeds United on the 1 May 1936 where 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. 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 the 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 5 in the 8-2 thrashing of Leicester City on the 1 October 1938, this still remains a record for Leeds and has never even been equalled. again, at Elland Rd, Liverpool again couldn't keep him quiet as Hodgson also repeated his feat of the previous season by scoring the only goal in a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

If it were not for the start Second World War Hodgson would have gone on to surpass 100 games for the Yorkshire club, scoring plenty of goals whilst doing so. Hodgson carried on playing during the war guesting for Hartlepools United.

Upon the conclusion of World War ll Hodgson took over the managerial reigns at Port Vale in October 1946, it was there that Hodgson began to learn the ropes of management, he was manager when the Valiants moved from the Recreation Ground to their current home of Vale Park in 1950. Gordon was still manager of Port Vale in 1951 when he died in Stoke-on-Trent on the 14 June.

As a cricketer

Gordon could have quite easily have played more First Class matches than he did, maybe even Test matches, but his true love was football so his cricket stats are somewhat restricted. However, Hodgson did manage to make over 50 appearances for Lancashire.

Career details

As a footballer

As a cricketer

As a football manager

  • Port Vale F.C (1946 - 1951) - Saw Port Vale move to their current home of Vale Park in 1950

External links

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