One of Coventry City’s greatest ever players, George Hudson, has died, aged 83.
The Hud, as he was affectionately known, was the Sky Blues seventh highest goalscorer of all-time, serving the club between 1963-1966, during which time he made 129 appearances and scored 75 goals.
For many City fans who first visited Highfield Road in the club’s golden era of the early 1960s, Hudson is the greatest City player of all time.
Club historian Jim Brown said: “Very sad news, the legendary George Hudson passed away peacefully this morning.
“A true Coventry City legend from the Jimmy Hill era.”
George started his career at Blackburn Rovers but when he failed to break into the first team he moved on to first Accrington Stanley and later Peterborough United where he became a prolific scorer.
Jimmy Hill created a sensation in April 1963 when he signed Hudson from Peterborough for a then club record £21,000 to replace the 30-goal fans’ hero Terry Bly.
George scored a hat-trick on his debut and a new hero was born.
In the Division 3 Championship season he was devastating, scoring 28 goals in 36 games including the winner in the final game against Colchester that confirmed City as champions.
Another 25 goals hit the net the following season in Division 2 including one in a 3-0 home win over Preston on a frozen, snow covered pitch, a game in which the Telegraph described his performance as ‘almost beyond belief’.
The following season against Southampton he scored arguably his most memorable goal when, with his back to goal he flicked the ball over Tony Knapp’s head, turned, then casually headed past a startled keeper.
On the eve of the Everton cup-tie in March 1966, Hill sold Hudson to Northampton, then in Division 1, for £22,000.
The fans were in uproar and hundreds travelled to see him make his debut at Northampton rather than travel to Merseyside to see a ‘Hudson-less’ Sky Blues.
Within a year, Hudson had moved on to Tranmere Rovers and his apparently rapid decline was used to justify Hill’s decision to sell, but many believe Hudson would have thrived in Division 1 and rate the sale as Hill’s biggest mistake.