The life and times of Chelsea legend Alan Hudson are known to many a blues supporter. A player much loved and admired amongst the faithful, his is a name associated with the greats who graced the Stamford Bridge pitch. His son, Anthony, emailed CFCnet to tell us his story, and of his determination to make his own mark on football…
Well I was obviously born into a football family. As well as my father playing where he did, my uncle, my older brother and cousin were all extremely good players too, the latter signing pro contracts for Arsenal and Spurs respectively.
I signed as an apprentice for West Ham at the age of 16 and spent two years there, with a loan spell at Luton Town before signing a professional contract with NEC Nijmegen of the Dutch 1st Division, under Jimmy Calderwood.
Throughout my time as a young player I struggled slightly, finding it difficult to make a name for myself and to come out of my Dad’s shadow. My lifestyle away from the game was not conducive to being an athlete and I found escape from my problems through drinking and all that goes with it.
As a kid, I always wanted to be like my Dad, and when things got tough, I found it so much easier to be like him in the drinking department. Eventually this became a problem for my game and my life and forced me to have to make some changes.
To cut a long story short, this lead me to the States and along the way, whilst learning about myself, I developed an unbelievable passion for coaching. I’ve studied, I’ve practiced, I’ve taken my badges, most recently my UEFA ‘A’ license. I am one of the youngest to gain it and studied on the same course as Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Steve Staunton, to name a few.
The last few years have been amazing for many reasons, and the highlight of 2008, for personal reasons, was being the youngest guest speaker at the worlds largest gathering of coaches, the NSCAA National Coaches Convention in Baltimore, alongside the likes of Gerard Houlier, Steve McLaren and Bill Beswick.
Through some of my ‘troubled’ past, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons, and I really believe these lessons I have taken from that part of my life will hold such a huge weight in years to come. Today, one benefit of my past is that I get to go to the local prison where I live in North Carolina as a volunteer to help inmates with drink and drug problems.
I go three times a week and have been going for two years now. It is, without a doubt, the best thing that I have ever done in my life and gives me something I’ve never ever had before, and it keeps getting better! I say this not to brag but in the hope that it just may encourage some else out there to give it a go…
I’m currently the 1st team coach for a professional team in the 2nd division here in the States. I am extremely ambitious. I am not an arrogant or a cocky person, but when I say that I am going to be one of the greatest coaches in the game, I truly believe it.
I want to reach the top, coach the top teams, I want to win trophies and I want to help players become the very best they can be. I’ve a way to go, but to say that I’m excited every moment of the day is an understatement. I look up to and learn from so many people, coaches, sportsman, successful people in life, and most of all a coach everyone at Chelsea knows well, Jose Mourinho. He’s been an inspiration for me.
For me to become the coach and person I want to be, I must keep working as hard as I can, believing in what I’m doing, constantly learning, constantly throwing myself in the deep end and along the way, growing as a man. Helping others along the way is crucial for me, without which, this all just feels slightly worthless.
Life is challenging every single day, but it’s a great challenge and it excites me. I’ve got a great family and some great friends, and without them I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’ve created a website; www.anthonyhudson.com – one I decided to put together for many reasons. The two main ones being; to help other coaches with some new ideas, just as I am constantly searching for. And the other, was to give myself another way to hold my work to a higher standard.
The discipline that’s gone into it has been extremely rewarding and I really feel it’s going to grow into something very positive.