Hodge Jack Image 1 Luton Town 1936

Hodge Jack Image 1 Luton Town 1936


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Plymouth, Devon born outside right Jack Hodge began his football career playing for Truro City, Greenwaves, Halls Engineers and Pearn Bros in the Plymouth & District League, prior to signing for hometown Second Division club Plymouth Argyle from St Austell in 1933, spending 1933-34 on their books without breaking into The Pilgrims’ first team. He moved on to Third Division (South) club Bristol City in the summer of 1934, making his Football League debut against Watford that August, scoring on his debut in a 3-1 win, and he was a regular for two seasons at Ashton Gate, helping Bristol City to the FA Cup quarter final where, having already knocked out First Division club Portsmouth when Hodge scored in a 2-0 replay win, they gave Preston North End a run, losing in a replay.

After 12 goals in 73 appearances, Luton Town bought him from The Robins in March 1936 but he lost his place in January 1937 after a single goal in 25 appearances for The Hatters. He joined Southern League club Colchester United in 1937, becoming the first to make 100 starts for the club, scoring an impressive 42 goals in his total of 111 matches, and had only recently signed for Hereford United in the summer of 1939 when the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment 0f peacetime football that September.

He played for a variety of local sides whilst serving in Devonport Dockyard, including the Devonport Dockyard team, the Royal Naval Torpedo Depot (with whom he broke a leg), Plymouth City and Plymouth United. There is also a suggestion that he played for Chelmsford City for a spell in 1941; perhaps he was seconded to the extensive light-engineering facilities there.

Hodge finally got a second chance at Home Park over a decade after his first when he signed from Plymouth United, registering with the Football League on 26th November 1945. He played three times but never on a winning side, including their two FA Cup defeats to Aldershot in January 1946, in what was a wretched season for the club. He also appeared once as a wartime guest for Torquay United that season before his retirement the same year.

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