Now I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty keen to see my son play for his country. You could, in fact, say that I’d give my right arm, and I wouldn’t contradict you. All of which leaves me in a position where I might be considered a little bit skewed in my first impressions of Glyn Hodges’ Dad.
Glyn Hodges was a hard-working, physical midfielder who played for Wimbledon in the days of the “Crazy Gang” in the 1980s. He was decent, nothing special, but good enough to play for Wales. He became big mates with Mark Hughes during his time with the Welsh side, and is now assistant manager at Fulham. But it’s not Glyn I want to talk about – it’s his Father, Edward.
Now far be it from me to cast aspersions on a man of whom I know little. But in football, statistics don’t lie, and while I never saw Glyn Hodges’ Dad in parenting action, one can only wonder unfairly at the personality, or speculate at the train of unfortunate circumstance which warrant his assassination by blog.
Firstly, let’s look at Edward Hodges. He was, or is, a Swansea man who moved to Streatham in London where his son Glyn was born in 1963. It must have been a proud moment, as it was for any Father, and when young Glyn turned out to be a promising footballer, both his parents showed an interest. And when Glyn was invited to play for the Welsh Youth team, their interest became stronger. They advised him to reject the Welsh selectors invitation. They were worried you see, that his appearance for Wales Youth might ruin his chances with England.
But sadly for Mr and Mrs Hodges, that call from England never came, and Glyn did turn out for Welsh youth. And then in 1984 when Glyn proudly wore the red shirt of Wales for the first time, Swansea-born Edward must have been bursting with pride. Except that he wasn’t there to see his son make his international debut – he had gone ski-ing instead. Sadly, injury was to rob Glyn of international appearances for a long time.
However Mr Hodges was also indisposed when Glyn returned to the Welsh team to face USSR at Swansea in February 1987. But never mind, there would be another chance soon enough when Wales played the Finns at Wrexham. And finally, Mr Edward Hodges from Swansea would get to see his son play for Wales.
It turned out to be the ideal game to choose – Glyn Hodges scored his first international goal, and ran straight across the pitch to the Racecourse Grandstand where his Father would be beaming with pride. Well, he would have been, but unfortunately Edward Hodges was so late arriving that he missed Glyn’s goal.
Nobody said it was easy being a parent.