Oxford United coach Alan Hodgkinson retires

Last updated : 30 August 2012 By bbc sport

Oxford United goalkeeping coach Alan Hodgkinson has retired from football after a career spanning 60-years.

The 76-year-old ex-England international has worked with the U's for the past six seasons.

Hodgkinson also worked for Manchester United, Rangers and the Scottish national team and made 576 appearances for Sheffield United.

"It's been a very long journey, but all journeys must come to an end," Hodgkinson told BBC Radio Oxford.

Hodgkinson is the man credited with discovering Peter Schmeichel and bringing him to Manchester United.

Alan Hodgkinson career


16 August, 1936

Playing career:

1954-1971 - Sheffield United, 576 games, 1957-60 - England, five games

Coaching career:

Rangers, Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Gillingham, Birmingham City, Scotland, Manchester United, Watford, Coventry, Rushden & Diamonds, Oxford United.

And despite having worked with some glamorous names over six decades, he says the U's are among the clubs he will always have the most affection for.

"I'm a modern coach and I will still keep in touch with the game and the people of Oxford United because I've very proud of what we have achieved there," he added.

"It's been a wonderful time,

culminating in the trip to Wembley where we won in front of 33,000 supporters

and it gave me great satisfaction.

"I worked at Man United and Rangers and in some big European finals but I can honestly say that play-off final at Wembley [in 2010] gave me as much pleasure and as much excitement as any other day in football."

But after 60 years in the game, which included winning five England caps between 1957-60, Hodgkinson says the time has come to retire from football.

"I'm often asked about longevity and longevity is enjoying what you're doing," he said.

"I've worked with so many wonderful managers and players over 60 seasons as you can imagine. All in all it's been my life, it seems to have lasted five minutes but it's been 60 years.

"I had a short illness during the summer, I got through it but I feel now is the time to close the door to the journey.

"It was an easy decision but made with a heavy heart. I've always been used to football and loved it."

Hodgkinson, who has a book about his career coming out in the new year, added: "I will be forever grateful to the supporters because they have been great with me and I've formed some great friendships.

"I've met so many people at Oxford and I will be sorry not to see them any more.

"Oxford United has touched my heart and I will always look for their results. I don't know what else I will do on a Saturday."

Source: bbc sport

Source: bbc sport