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Wild Raven

Grahame Hodgson

Bridgend Ravens are saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Grahame Hodgson. Mr Hodgson played Rugby for Bridgend and won 15 Welsh caps and was the father of Ravens stalwart and match day helper, Kier Hodgson.

Our thoughts and condolences go out at this time to Kier and all of Grahame's family and friends.
Aled

Terrible news. Thoughts are with Kier and the family at this time.
Bouch

Sad, sad news.

Grahame was a great fullback.

RIP Grahame.



Heddwch.

Here are a few notes :-

Some words from the WRU - http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/35713.php#.VqokRDHcvcs

And from Alan Hughes - http://www.rugbyrelics.com/info/sport-wales/alan-hughes.htm



Quote:
After years of mediocrity, one day there came, for me, a seminal moment. It was the arrival of a full back, his name was G.T.R Hodgson of St Lukes College, Exeter and Neath – Grahame Hodgson – and he was the most complete player I had ever seen.

Everything he did was immaculate, even his kit seemed perfect, an unsubstantiated rumour had it that even his bootlaces were ironed.

For years, for me, he was Neath. There was, as ever, a fearsome pack, but it seemed to me then, that whilst he was there, as that last elegant line of defence that everything was going to be all right.

The history and traditions of Neath are known all over the rugby world, the list of achievements endless-first cup winners, first league winners, first treble winners, World Record holders (still) for tries and points in a season, among them. It was in Neath after all, that the Welsh Rugby Union was formed. Essentially blue collar, it has never been a club of glamour, thriving rather on a siege mentality, an esprit de corps which has been their enduring hallmark over the years.

None of this mattered to me then of course, nothing mattered much at all, as long as there was Hodgson at full back. He played fifteen times for Wales (it should have been thirty). He was a thorn in the side of whoever Neath played. Coming from the ground the opposition would bemoan the fact that they made him look good by “Kicking the ball down his throat”. The reason of course, was that with a sense of positioning that was uncanny, he was to be found wherever they kicked the ball. His catching was faultless and his screw kicking perfect (he was later recruited to coach J.P.R Williams in the art).


Quote:
Years later, when, in rugby terms he was old and I was young I actually played against him.

I have always regretted not telling him on that day what an influence he had been on me, but a combination of shyness and embarrassment meant that I let the moment pass. It didn’t seem to me, in those days, to be the right thing to do.

When I recreate the scenario now, I wish I could have sought him out in a quiet corner, just to say how much I had enjoyed and appreciated his career. As it was he never knew he was my hero, and I lacked the moral fortitude to tell him.

He had spoken to me only once, in the showers after the game, “Hey mate, chuck over the soap”, it was the only pass I ever saw him drop.

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