Blades and Sky Blues to hail Alan Hodgkinson

Alan Hodgkinson the coach - on duty with the England under 21s in 1984
Alan Hodgkinson the coach - on duty with the England under 21s in 1984
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Sheffield United and Coventry City will come together at the weekend to remember a man who served both clubs with great distinction.

Blades goalkeeping legend Alan Hodgkinson passed away on Tuesday, aged 79 and it is expected that the former England international’s service will be marked at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Hodgkinson made well over 600 appearances for United spanning three decades and won five England caps.

When he hung up his gloves, the Laughton Common-born man became a highly revered goalkeeping coach, at a time when such a position was almost non-existent.

Among the clubs with which Hodgkinson worked was Coventry City, whom he joined in 2002 under Gary McAllister.

Sky Blues goalkeeping legend and current coach at the Ricoh Arena, Steve Ogrizovic, described Hodgkinson, who only retired in 2012 at the age of 76, as a ‘pioneer’, who led the way in how the men between the sticks prepared for games.

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of Alan’s death,” said Ogrizovic.

“He was a fantastic professional and person to know and work with.

“Undoubtedly, he was one of the first professional goalkeeping coaches who revolutionised the way football coaches goalkeepers today.

“He was a fantastic player for Sheffield United and I’ve got the utmost respect for Alan as a coach. Alan was a pioneer of his time and the impact he had on the game shouldn’t be forgotten.”

It was Hodgkinson who recommended Peter Schmeichel to Manchester United and the Old Trafford hero tweeted: “My good friend and first gk coach at @ManUtd have (sic) sadly passed away. My condolences to his family and friends.”

Former Rangers number one and Scotland international Andy Goram also worked with Hodgkinson and he also paid tribute on Twitter: “He was a guru and a father to me...a legend.”

The Blades will release details of the tribute at Sunday’s game later this week.

- United photographer Martyn Harrison passed away yesterday, aged 60.

Martyn had been covering his beloved Blades for 30 years and his pictures captured some iconic moments in the club’s history.

His funeral will take place at City Road Crematorium on December 18 at 1.45pm. His family request that no suits are worn and donations are made to Macmillan. CLICK HERE FOR MORE BLADES NEWS