The death of Teddy Hodgson


August 4, 1919
Genuine regret was felt in Burnley on Monday morning, when news reached the town of the death of Teddy Hodgson, the Burnley Football Club’s popular inside left. Teddy, whose home was at 26 Haven Street, had, since March, been one of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine and about two months ago he contracted a kidney trouble, which caused much anxiety to his friends.

Latterly the news had been more favourable and hopes were entertained of his recovery, especially when a fortnight ago he was fit to be removed to Whalley hospital. He, however, grew worse, and his death occurred as stated at the age of 33 years. He leaves a widow and one child.

It was whilst with Chorley Town that Edward Hodgson came into the limelight as an inside right and he was a much sought after player, whom Burnley considered themselves to be fortunate when they secured him soon after the opening of 1911-12 season, his transfer fee being about £125. Messrs. Catlow, Harrison, and Slater, along with the secretary, Mr. Haworth, were responsible for his signature and it must be said that they secured one of the best inside forwards whom the country has ever produced.

When he came to Burnley he found Harry Mountford in the forward line, and was at first placed in the second team, his first game being against the Blackburn Rovers reserves at home, on September 16, 1911. Mountford having met with a knee injury in collision with Joe Mercer of Nottingham Forest, was put out of action and Hodgson found the position at inside left, in which he afterwards made a national reputation. Coming into the first eleven at Barnsley on September 30, he was never displaced from that position except when accident overtook him and though he had one or two ribs broken on December 2, 1911, against Birmingham, he recovered after a few weeks’ absence and resumed his position, partnering Joshua Harris.

A useful man as far as goal scoring went, he had put the ball into the net for Burnley on over 100 occasions. But it was not as a goal-scorer that he shone most, his outstanding qualities being his unselfishness, his tricky footwork, and his braininess and craft generally. Few were quicker in seeing an opportunity for a comrade to shine, and to him in a large measure Bert Freeman owes the distinction of being in the 1911-12 season the record goal-scorer.

A box of tricks, Hodgson could always be relied upon to make his opponent play, and the partnership of Hodgson and Eddie Mosscrop will not readily be forgotten by Burnley crowds. Teddy clearly loved a joke, and his quaint with and mimicry made him popular at all times with the rest of the team. In away journeys he was the life and soul of the team, and even on the field he was not averse to a bit of jollity. One remembers seeing him on a stormy day sheltering his small statue – he was only 5ft. 5innches – behind the more burly form of an opponent, and the crowd, seeing the joke, roared with laughter, to the intense amazement of his opponent.

One instance of Hodgson’s unselfishness stands out above the rest, and that was when, with a fairly good opportunity of scoring a goal in the Cup Final at the Crystal Palace, on April 25, 1914, he spied Freeman in a better position, and deftly lifting the ball over the head of Thomas Fairfoull he gave Freeman the opportunity of scoring the goal with which Burnley won the cup. He has on several occasions captained the team, and has also scored on four or five occasions his trio of goals. Clever, consistent, and always a trier, it was remarkable that he was not more often selected for representative matches. In 1913-14, he was chosen for the League v. Notts County and Nottingham Forest in a charity match for T. Harris, and on March 21 he played in the Inter League match v. Scotland at Turf Moor, with Mosscrop as his partner, and obtained a goal for his side, Nellies turning the shot into the goal.

He entered the Army in November, 1916, and after a period on the East Coast, he rose to the rank of Sergeant Instructor, a post for which he was eminently fitted. It is to be regretted that his death is the result of his service with the colours, and by his death the whole football world loses a shining light.

The funeral will take place at the Burnley Cemetery on Friday afternoon at 3.30. The cortege will leave the house at 2.15. Representatives of the Directors and players of the Club will attend the funeral.
(Burnley News: August 6, 1919)

Teddy Hodgson, Burnley F.C.

XX

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