March 25, 1945
Mr. Dennis Hodgetts, the former Aston Villa player and official, and an ex-England player, died in hospital in Birmingham yesterday. He was 81.
Dennis Hodgetts, Aston Villa.
Hodgetts ranked as one of the Aston Villa giants. He was an intelligent, skilful, speedy and forthright forward, either at outside left or inside left.
He came into prominence with Birmingham St. George’s, later known as Mitchell’s St. George’s. He succeeded Eli Davies at outside left in Villa’s team during the 1885-6 season. During his association, Villa performed brilliant deeds in Cup and League competitions. They appeared in three Cup finals, curiously enough each against their famous rivals the Albion.
This was in the 1887, 1892 and 1895 finals, and Villa were successful in two of them – 1887 and 1895. He also assisted Ville to win League championships twice – in 1894 and 1896.
He was a much-wanted player by England, and had the distinction of playing twice against Scotland, three times against Ireland and once against Wales, and he also appeared for England in the inter-league match against Scotland.
Hodgetts never played for Villa at Villa Park, as he had ceased connection with them before they went to Villa Park in 1887.
At the end of season 1895-6 he was transferred to Villa’s neighbours, Small Heath.
On his retirement he went into the licensing trade and while he was at the Salvation Inn, Constitution Hill, Birmingham, his house was burgled and he lost the whole of his medals, including those for the FA Cup and League championship victories. He was a bitterly disappointed man, and was heard to say that he would have “sooner lost in a Cup Final than that the whole of his medals should have been lost to him through a burglar.”
In the hour of his trouble and disappointment Villa directors presented him with a gold medal as some sort of solatium.
Dennis had a son – also named Dennis – who, if he did not follow in father’s footsteps as a footballer, distinguished himself as an athlete. He achieved distinction all over the country as a racing cyclist by winning many prizes.
(Birmingham Daily Gazette: March 26, 1945)