Alan Hodgkinson, English footballer, Died at 79

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Alan Hodgkinson was born on August 16, 1936, and died on December 8, 2015.

He was an English professional football goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach.

At just over 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m), Hodgkinson was on the small side for a goalkeeper, but made up for the lack of height by his good positional play.

Alan signed for Sheffield United from Worksop Town on 1 August 1953, and made 675 first-team appearances (576 in the league) for the Blades between 1953 and 1971, his first being a friendly game against Clyde on 6 April 1954.

Alan made his league début in Division One in a 2–1 away victory against Newcastle United on 28 August 1954 but, despite showing his undoubted potential, the presence of number one goalkeeper Ted Burgin until 1957 and National Service limited his opportunities for the first team.

The arrival of Joe Mercer as manager established Hodgkinson’s place as first-choice goalkeeper in the side behind the defensive line of Cec Coldwell, Graham Shaw, Brian Richardson, Joe Shaw and Gerry Summers.

In 1966 to 1967, Alan won the Sheffield United Supporters player of the year award.

His brilliance and reliability made sure of his place until the signing of John Hope in 1971.

Alan final appearance was, like his first, in a friendly, on 23 January 1971 against Chesterfield.

After retiring, Alan wrote an autobiography entitled Alan Hodgkinson Between The Sticks, which was released on 9 May 2013.

Alan Hodgkinson passed away on December 8, 2015 at the age of 79.

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