Hailing from Chelsea in West London, a short distance from Stamford Bridge, Alan Hudson is a charismatic former First Division and England footballer who made a name for himself in his local club’s midfield, a member of a classic Chelsea side that also boasted the genius of Peter Osgood and Charlie Cooke. These players were part of a small band of maverick talent that included the likes of George Best and Stan Bowles, and graced the English game during the 1970s.
Having missed the 1970 FA Cup final against Leeds United through injury, the following season saw Alan win the Cup Winners Cup as Chelsea beat Real Madrid in Greece. After a clash with management, he moved to Stoke City and then Arsenal, before going to America where he starred for the Seattle Sounders. While he was capped by England, his ability was never properly used at the national level, as the football establishment of the time was suspicious of flair players. Today, a team would be built around him.
Since retiring, Alan has written a number of books – among them The Working Man’s Ballet, The Waddington Years and The Tinker And The Talisman – and has worked as a columnist for The Sentinel and Sporting Life. He is popular as an after-dinner speaker, mixing honest and sometimes outspoken views on how the game should be played with a natural storytelling ability. Living in Chelsea among the community in which he grew up, Alan Hudson remains one of the great London characters.