The best phone call I ever made was to Graham Hodson.
It was in April 2013. I called him to buy a copy of the History of Bilston FC because I wanted to read it.
And what followed was a two and a half year journey that saw us work together to make it happen.
I had no idea what an impact Graham would have on me when I made that call. But his inspiration and enthusiasm was incredible.
I’d been writing for over fifteen years when I first heard the words, “Don’t listen to any discouraging shite from the likes of anyone!” And those few words inspired the journey that culminated with a book that is now the History of Bilston Town FC.
As someone who had been trying to write something, anything, for an age… to hear those words was inspiration to an ear that had heard it all before and was close to walking away from writing.
Graham was always the greatest of hosts, he always pointed me in fruitful directions and he played a huge part in the success and eventual publication of that book.
He was always magnanimous and encouraging and knew just the right guy at just the right time to point me in the right direction.
He was a Black Country bloke that cared about the town. He gave football to working class youth; his devotion took him to Wembley where he was a winner and to Buckingham Palace where our Royalty had the good fortune of spending a moment in his presence. He even brought Royal Appointment upon his beloved Bilston Town Community FC! He demanded none of it and yet achieved it all. His efforts were worthy and it just happened because, Graham was Graham.
He truly was unique.
Bilston Town FC has lost its greatest champion.
The world has lost a charisma.
Graham’s family has lost more than all of us in the football world, a husband and a father and I send them my love and best wishes at this time.
We are all better off for having had Graham in our lives.
Rest in Peace Graham.
We’ll all miss you.