ALAN DODD ONE OF THE BEST DEFENDERS OFF ALL TIME.
Alan Dodd was a talented centre-half, who once stood on terraces up and down the country following the Potters.
So when he got the chance to play for his beloved team, he did not hesitate.
Dodd joined the junior ranks at the Victoria Ground after leaving school in 1969 and turned professional in October 1970, going on to make 416 appearances, scoring eight goals
Alan’s successes at schoolboy level had attracted the attention of Arsenal and Leicester City, but it was the defender’s ambition to play for his local side.
Dodd had to fight for his place in the first team with the likes of Denis Smith and Alan Bloor, but he was handed his Stoke City debut in November 1972.
Dodd joined a side that included all his heroes – Jimmy Greenhoff, Mike Pejic, Gordon Banks and George Eastham. Being the youngest member of the squad by two or three years,
Alan had a vast fountain of knowledge and experience close to hand.
Two years after making his debut, he scored his first goal for Stoke City against Leeds United, which boosted his confidence.
Alan’s new found confidence was bolstered by the arrival of Alan Hudson – arguably one of the most gifted footballers of his generation.
Hudson spent a lot of time with Alan Dodd and some of his skill and commitment rubbed off on the youngster.
Alan was comfortable with ground and aerial confrontations and his impressive strength made him the all-round defender.
As the years passed, Alan saw a number of changes at the Victoria Ground.
The Stoke City team that had been so admired in the early 1970s was disintegrating following the damage caused to the Butler Street Stand in 1976.
Jimmy Greenhoff and Alan Hudson were among the casualties and were joined a year later by manager Tony Waddington.
Stoke City were relegated in 1977 and he faced a new challenge.
After a number of different managers, Stoke City found themselves under the leadership of Richie Barker.
Barker experimented with the side and began to play Alan Dodd in an unfamiliar midfield role.
Alan was not happy and in 1982, posed an ultimatum to Barker, explaining to either play him as centre-half or leave him out.
So, exactly 10 years after making his debut, Barker made his decision and Alan Dodd joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in a deal worth £40,000.
Alan’s introduction to Molineux was instrumental in a superb season for Wolves as they steam-rollered through Division Two and into the top division.
Wolves’ quickly returned to Division Two and, But in stark contrast, Wolves’ return was bedeviled by defeat after defeat as the Midlands club made a rapid return to the Second Division. after failed promises from Wolverhampton Wanders manager Derek Dougan, Alan returned to Stoke City.
Alan re-joined a team that had fallen dramatically from grace and were in the middle of an embarrassing relegation run, which culminated in the lowest points total in Division One history during the 1984/1985 season.
Initially joining on a one-month contract, Alan stayed until the end of the season.
Following successive relegations, Alan Dodd enjoyed success in Sweden where he helped Elfsborg and GAIS Gothenburg to promotions to the First Division.
He gained plenty of admirers during his overseas spell, and perhaps the greatest was Sven Goran Eriksson, who was manager of the mighty Benfica at the time.
Alan had been told that the Swede was a big fan of his and would try and sort out a position, but nothing came from it.
Alan also represented Landskrona Bols and fitted in a brief return to the Potteries in 1986 when he signed a short-term contract with Port Vale in between his Swedish adventures.
At the age of 36, Alan ended his successful spell in Scandinavia, returning to England for spells with Rocester and Goldenhill Wanderers.
Finally calling it a day on his playing days, he concentrated on his property business which he started with business partner Mick Donnelly, father of Port Vale’s Paul Donnelly.