IT may well have been a poignant moment - the one and only ‘Hodgy’ out on the Bramall Lane pitch, doing his goalkeeping stuff, for the last time!
Blades legend Alan Hodgkinson rightly got the warmest of receptions from the Bramall Lane crowd when he took the Oxford United goalkeepers through their pre-match routines before last Saturday’s FA Cup tie.
Alan, who made over 670 appearances in all for United in a playing career stretching from 1954 to 1971, became the country’s first recognised goalkeeping coach back in the 1970s and across three decades has utilised his expertise to the benefit of some of the top clubs in addition to 17 years as Scotland’s goalkeeping coach.
Awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the game, Alan, now 75, is expected to make this his final season. If that is the case, then the FA Cup draw which brought him back to Bramall Lane in a ‘working’ capacity was a fitting moment for, arguably, the club’s finest goalkeeper and such a wonderful servant to the club.
Alan, who was coach for four years at the Lane after he finished playing, is currently undertaking the writing of his life story.