Monday, April 2, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 54: Gordon Hodgeson


At number 54 in our countdown of '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' is goalscoring machine of the late twenties/early thirties Gordon Hodgson.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Gordon Hodgson

Years at Liverpool: 1926 to 1936
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 16/4/1904
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Signed from: Transvaal FC (December 1925)

Games: 378
Goals: 240

Honours: none

During an era when Liverpool often found themselves cast in the shadow of their near neighbours from across the park, South African inside forward Gordon Hodgson was one of the few shining lights for the Reds. Liverpool's answer to Everton legend Dixie Dean, Hodgson was a prolific marksman whose achievements in front of goal set new records at Anfield. Born in South Africa to English parents, Hodgson was spotted by Liverpool officials when visiting England with a touring South African side in the early 1920's. He was signed up in December 1925, along with compatriots Arthur Riley and James Gray, and quickly set about re-writing the club's goalscoring records. Hodgson served notice of his potential in his first full season with club when he netted a 22-minute hat-trick against Derby County. It was the second of many and signalled the start of a remarkable Anfield career that was to span a goal-filled decade. In 1930/31 he set a new Reds record of 36 league goals in a season – a feat not surpassed until the emergence of Roger Hunt in the sixties – while his record of 17 Liverpool hat-tricks is yet to be broken. In his ten years at the club he averaged more than 20 goals a season and was worshipped by his adoring fans who stood on the Kop. On completion of his ten years service he was honoured by the club with a benefit sum of £650 but 17 games into the 1935/36 campaign Aston Villa bid £3,000 for the ageing hit-man and Liverpool accepted. He went on to finish his playing career with Leeds United and then became manager of Port Vale in the aftermath of the Second World War. Despite leaving the Reds he remained a highly popular figure among the Anfield faithful and it came as a great shock when Hodgson suddenly passed away on 14 June 1951. His phenomenal goalscoring exploits deserved to reap greater reward in terms of silverware won but it's testimony to the loyalty Gordon Hodgson displayed towards Liverpool Football Club that he remained at Anfield for so long. Without his goals the barren years of the late twenties/early thirties would have been unbearable and Liverpudlians of that generation were eternally grateful to him for that.

Sold to: Aston Villa (January 1936)

Claim to fame: Scoring the most hat-tricks in Liverpool history

Did you know? He was a fine all-round sportsman who played first-class cricket for Lancashire and also excelled at baseball while at Liverpool

Where is he now? Passed away at the premature age of 47 in June 1951

John Keith on Gordon Hodgson: "He was a really top class striker and also a tremendous cricketer in the summer. Clearly in the 1920's I would say he was one of the best strikers in the business and again his name will always be up there with the best scorers of all-time in Liverpool's history, up alongside the likes of Hunt, Rush, Fowler and Owen."

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