Sheffield United fan column: Remembering two legends of the Lane in Baldy and Hodgyrt

Wreaths are laid by Tony Currie and Len Badger in memory of former goalkeeper Alan Hodgkinson and club photographer Martyn Harrison
Wreaths are laid by Tony Currie and Len Badger in memory of former goalkeeper Alan Hodgkinson and club photographer Martyn Harrison
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I only saw Alan Hodgkinson play for United a few times.

I started going to the Lane regularly during the 1970/71 promotion season, so I remember well the furore surrounding the January sale of John Tudor to Newcastle in a swap deal for goalkeeper John Hope and ex-Wednesday man David Ford.

It did not go down well, as it meant the loss of Billy Dearden’s only competition at centre forward and put the Hodgy’s future in doubt. In fact he never played again, and retired at the end of the season.

I last saw him around four years ago one Saturday night in All Bar One on Leopold Street. He was with Chris Wilder when both were working at Oxford United. Still working at 74 or 75, and he looked well on it. Another of that wonderful Blades team has gone.

I first met Martyn Harrison about 20 years ago. At first his photography was a hobby before setting himself up in business.

Taking football photographs for a living was much preferable to his previous occupation of plater and welder. What Martyn didn’t bargain for was one Charles Green.

Soon after Mike McDonald’s takeover, Martyn told Green that the club owed him £2,000, refusing to hand over photographs for one match until he was paid.

According to Martyn, Green declared that he ‘didn’t like anyone holding a gun to his head’ and immediately terminated Martyn’s employment.

He did eventually get paid, but only after taking the club to the Small Claims Court.

Martyn got his first big payday in the trade when he captured Jermaine Defoe scoring West Ham’s winner at Old Trafford in 2001. The image was syndicated around the broadsheets and redtops, and Martyn had made his name.

His bald head behind the goal will be missed.