Alan Anthony Hudson (born 21 June 1951 in Chelsea, London) is a
former English footballer.
Hudson was one of the most naturally gifted midfielders of his
generation, a skilful and natural playmaker with tremendous vision and
comfortable using either foot, yet his career was marred by controversies
and injury problems. World Cup-winning England captain Bobby Moore once said
of him: "Alan Hudson could have conquered the world, but there was no
guarantee he was going to conquer his temperament."
Born and brought up near the King's Road, Hudson was rejected by Fulham
as a schoolboy before signing for Chelsea Juniors. Injury denied him the
chance to become Chelsea's youngest ever player aged 16 and he eventually
made his senior debut 9 months later on February 1, 1969 in a 5-0 loss
Hudson found himself in a Chelsea side noted for its flair and skill,
complete with equally flamboyant footballers such as Peter Osgood and
Charlie Cooke. It was during the 1969-70 season that he established himself
as the team's playmaker, creating goals for Osgood and Ian Hutchinson, and
enabling Chelsea to finish 3rd in the First Division.
He played in every match in Chelsea's run to the FA Cup final in 1970,
but missed the final itself due to another injury when they beat Leeds
United 2-1 in a replay at Old Trafford, having drawn 2-2 at Wembley. He did,
however, play a major role in Chelsea's replayed European Cup Winners' Cup
final win against Real Madrid in Athens a year later.
The debt burden caused by the building of the then new East Stand
resulted in the sale of key players, and a spiral of decline began. Chelsea
lost 2-1 to Stoke City in the 1972 League Cup final at Wembley, whilst a
falling-out with manager Dave Sexton resulted in both Hudson and Osgood
being placed on the transfer list in January 1974. Within a month, Hudson
had joined Stoke City for £240,000, and his career with Chelsea was over at
the age of 22.
Stoke manager Tony Waddington saw Hudson as the final piece of the jigsaw
that would turn Stoke City into genuine championship challengers in 1975.
Hudson played some of the best football of his career under Waddington's
shrewd leadership as Stoke finished just four points away from eventual
champions Derby County in his first season with the Potteries club.
||Alan Anthony Hudson
|Date of birth
||June 21, 1951 (1951-06-21)
|Place of birth
||Chelsea, London, England
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 15th July 2006.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 15th July 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)
Owing to a ban from international football after refusing to tour with
the England under-23 side, Hudson didn't make his England debut until 1975,
when sparkling performances earned him two call ups by then England manager
Don Revie. He starred in the team that beat World Champions West Germany 2-0
at Wembley, and then in the 5-0 destruction of Cyprus. However, injuries and
clashes with Revie meant that those two caps were the only ones he earned.
Financial troubles at Stoke forced Hudson's sale to Arsenal in December
1976 for £200,000. He helped Arsenal reach the 1978 FA Cup Final, which they
lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town, but differences with the Arsenal manager Terry
Neill meant that he moved to the Seattle Sounders of the NASL for £100,000
at the age of 27. Hudson subsequently moved on to Hércules CF of Spain
before returning to Chelsea, then in the Second Division, although illness
and injury denied him the chance to play for them again. There was also a
nostalgic return to Stoke, where he helped the club avoid relegation from
the old First Division in the 1983-84 season.
Since his retirement, Hudson has suffered a series of setbacks. He had
problems with alcoholism, was declared bankrupt and in 1997 sustained
serious injuries in a car crash (spending two months in a coma), after which
he was not expected to walk again, but managed to make a recovery.
His autobiography The Working Man's Ballet was a critical success
and led to work as a columnist on the Stoke Evening Sentinel and
The Sporting Life. A further book The Tinker and The Talisman was
self-published in 2003. In 2004 Hudson appeared as himself in a cameo
appearance in the British film The Football Factory.
In June 2006, Hudson joined Radio Napa in Cyprus, where he commentated on
the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
|This is me Alan Hudson, just to
let you know
The Working Mans Ballet will be out very soon, updated
version including horrific car accident...Cheers Alan