Alan Hudson

Alan Hudson
Personal information
Full name Alan Anthony Hudson
Date of birth (1951-06-21) 21 June 1951
Place of birth Chelsea, London, England
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1974 Chelsea 145 (10)
1974–1976 Stoke City 105 (9)
1976–1978 Arsenal 36 (0)
1979–1983 Seattle Sounders 94 (2)
1979–1980Cleveland Force (indoor) 13 (6)
1981–1982Seattle Sounders (indoor) 18 (12)
1983–1984 Chelsea 0 (0)
1984–1985 Stoke City 39 (0)
Total 450 (39)
National team
1970–1976 England U23 9 (0)
1975 England 2 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Alan Anthony Hudson (born 21 June 1951) is an English former footballer who played for Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke City as well as the England national football team.[1][2]

Club career


Born and brought up near the King's Road, Hudson was rejected by boyhood club 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 nine months later on 1 February 1969 in a 5–0 loss against Southampton. 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, in the midfield of a 4–2–4 formation alongside John Hollins who was more defensive, 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 at Chelsea 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. He sang with the rest of the squad on the club's 1972 record Blue Is the Colour, which peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. Within a month, Hudson had joined Stoke City for a then club record of £240,000.[2]

Stoke City

Stoke manager Tony Waddington saw Hudson as the final piece of the jigsaw that would turn Stoke City into genuine championship challengers in 1975.[2] Hudson's debut for Stoke against Liverpool on 19 January 1974 was described by former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Stan Cullis, commentating on radio, as the finest debut performance he had ever seen. Allowed a free rein by Waddington Hudson combined brilliantly with Jimmy Greenhoff and their form sparked a run of only two defeats in 19 games at the end of the 1973–74 season. Manager Waddington described Stoke's style of play at the time as 'the working man's ballet', a title which Hudson used for his autobiography in 1997.[2] Off the pitch Hudson was a regular drinker often staying at nightclubs until the early hours of the morning and even opened his own club in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Hudson was enjoying the form of his career at Stoke and in his first two years at the Victoria Ground he missed only one game out of 162 and he helped Stoke set a club record 23 home games undefeated from December 1973 to December 1974.[2] Stoke almost won their first league title in 1974–75 finishing four points off Derby County in top spot and he then played 40 times in 1975–76. In January 1976 a strong storm caused considerable damage to Stoke's Victoria Ground and to pay for the excessive repair costs Stoke had to sell off their playing staff and, in December 1976, Hudson was sold to Arsenal for £200,000.[2]


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.

Later career

In the autumn of 1979, he signed with the Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League.[2] Hudson returned briefly to Chelsea on a non-contract basis although illness and injury denied him the chance to play for them again.[2] He re-joined Stoke City for £22,500 in January 1984 after Bill Asprey had consulted Waddington on how to help Stoke avoiding relegation in 1983–84.[2] Stoke picked up 33 points in 17 games and clinched survival with a 4–0 won over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the season.[2] But in 1984–85 Stoke were embarrassingly relegated with a record low points tally.[2] Hudson was named captain by Mick Mills for the 1985–86 season but a knee injury forced him to retire in September 1985.[2]

International career

Hudon won nine caps for the England U23 team.[3] He had initially made his debut against Scotland U23 at Roker Park on 4 March 1970, but the game was abandoned due to snow after 62 minutes.[3] He therefore went on to make his first full debut for the under-23 team on 2 December 1970, in a 0–0 draw with Wales U23 at the Racecourse Ground.[3]

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 1974 FIFA World Cup 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.[2]

Later life

His son, Anthony, is also a former professional footballer and manager.

Since his retirement, Hudson has suffered a series of setbacks. He had problems with alcoholism and was also declared bankrupt. In December 1997, Hudson suffered multiple injuries when run over by a car while walking along a London street. He spent two months in a coma and the doctors treating him were doubtful as to whether he would walk again. He has since undergone more than 70 surgical operations. He remains disabled, using crutches to walk and says "Every day now is a chore".[4] Following the collision, he took up writing professionally. 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 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. In 2008 Alan Hudson released his third book, titled "The Waddington Years", which described his great friendship with former Stoke City manager Tony Waddington.[2] Speaking in December 2012 Hudson revealed that he believes that his accident was actually an attempt on his life.[5]

Career statistics

Club statistics

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[A] Total
Chelsea 1968–69 First Division 1000000010
1969–70 First Division 293602000373
1970–71 First Division 34300109010453
1971–72 First Division 36230924200526
1972–73 First Division 26050300000340
1973–74 First Division 19200100000202
Total 145101401621321018914
Stoke City 1973–74 First Division 183000000183
1974–75 First Division 42410402000494
1975–76 First Division 342501000402
1976–77 First Division 110002000130
Total 1059607020001209
Arsenal 1976–77 First Division 190300000220
1977–78 First Division 170404000250
Total 36070400000470
Seattle Sounders[6] 1979 NASL 262262
1980 NASL 270270
1981 NASL 270270
1982 NASL 130130
1983 NASL 1010
Total 942942
Stoke City 1983–84 First Division 160000000160
1984–85 First Division 170201000200
1985–86 Second Division 6000000060
Total 39020100000420
Career total 419212902821521049225
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Charity Shield.

Indoor statistics

Club Season
Cleveland Force[6] 1979–80 MISL 136
Seattle Sounders[6] 1981–82 NASL 1812
Career total 3118

International statistics

England national team[7]






  1. Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Stoke City 101 Golden Greats. Desert Islands Books. 2002. ISBN 1-874287-55-4.
  3. 1 2 3 "England Matches - Under-23's". Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  4. Jimenez, Tony (14 October 2012). "Disabled Alan Hudson finds every day a chore". Reuters. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. "Stoke City legend Alan Hudson recalls the day he almost lost his battle for life". The Staffordshire Sentinel. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 "NASL-". Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  7. "Alan Hudson". National Football Teams. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  8. Lynch, Tony (1995). The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. Random House. pp. 141–2. ISBN 0-09-179135-9.
  9. "FA Cup Final 1978". 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2016.

External links

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