Jimmy Hogan

James Hogan (16 October 1882 – 30 January 1974) was an English football player and coach of Irish descent.[1] He is counted amongst the great pioneers of the game on the European continent.

Jimmy Hogan
Jimmy Hogan in 1908
Personal information
Full name James Hogan
Date of birth (1882-10-16)16 October 1882
Place of birth Nelson, Lancashire, England
Date of death 30 January 1974(1974-01-30) (aged 91)
Place of death Burnley, Lancashire, England
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1902–1903 Rochdale Town ? (?)
1903–1905 Burnley 50 (12)
1905–1907 Nelson ? (?)
1907 Fulham 4 (0)
1908 Swindon Town 9 (9)
1908–1913 Bolton Wanderers 54 (18)
Teams managed
1910–1912 FC Dordrecht
1910 Netherlands
1911–1912 Amateure SV
1914–1921 MTK
1918–1920 BSC Young Boys
1924 Switzerland
1925 Lausanne Sports
Dresdner SC
1925–1927 MTK Budapest
1931–1932 FK Austria Vienna
1932–1933 RC Paris
1933–1934 Lausanne Sports
1934–1935 Fulham
1936–1939 Aston Villa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jimmy Hogan enjoyed some success as a footballer, reaching an FA Cup Semi-final with Fulham in 1908, but it was as a coach that his abilities shone through.

Upon the outbreak of the First World War Jimmy was working in Austria, and was interned as an enemy alien. During this time however he was involved in coaching Hungarian club MTK, actions which were negatively perceived by some in the United Kingdom.[2]

Early life

James Hogan was born in 1882 into an Irish Catholic family in Lancashire, the son of James Hogan, he grew up in Burnley and received his early education at St Mary Magdalene RC School at Gannow, his father hoped he would enter the Priesthood and sent him to study as a Boarder at the Salford Diocesan Junior Seminary St Bede's College, Manchester in September 1896. He graduated at Midsummer 1900 after deciding not to pursue his vocation any further, but was College Head Boy in the 1899/1900 Academic Year. After leaving school he became a footballer, and latterly a football coach, working across Europe and was teaching in Austria at the outbreak of World War One, when he was arrested and interned as an enemy alien. After the war he returned to England and moved to Liverpool to be with his family, whom he had not seen for four years, and gained employment at Walker's Tobacco in Everton.


Hogan is considered one of the great pioneers of the game on the continent, especially in Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and Germany. At the age of 28, Hogan began his coaching career. Following a 10–0 win by Bolton Wanderers over Dutch club FC Dordrecht during a pre-season tour, Hogan vowed to return to Dordrecht in order to "teach those fellows how to play properly". After accepting a two-year contract at the club, Hogan set about improving the team's, mostly made up of students, fitness and ball control, as well as implementing the Combination Game, reminiscent of the quick passing that Queen's Park had popularised in the second half of the 1800s. Impressed by his methods, the Netherlands recruited Hogan to manage a game in October 1910 against Germany, which the Netherlands won 2–1. Upon the expiry of his contract with Dordrecht, Hogan returned in a playing capacity for Bolton.[3]

In Switzerland he coached ca. 1924 Young Boys Berne. In that period he was also besides his compatriot Teddy Duckworth, then coach of Servette FC, and the Hungarian Izidor "Dori" Kürschner, then coach of FC Nordstern Basel, responsible for one of three regional coaching groups preparing the Swiss national team for the Olympics 1924 in Paris. Duckworth would take the team there to the final, losing to the giants of that era, Uruguay, 0–3. This is up to now the greatest success in Swiss footballing history. In 1925 and from 1933 to 1934, Hogan coached Lausanne Sports.[4]

Partly responsible for the development of football in mainland Europe, Hogan formed a partnership with Hugo Meisl – coaching the Austrian national team to unprecedented success.[5]

After a brief spell as Fulham boss, Hogan returned to Austria, where he coached them to the 1936 Olympic final.

Aston Villa appointed Hogan as their manager in November 1936. This was following the embarrassment of the club's first ever relegation the previous season. Within two seasons, Hogan had guided Villa back to the top flight.

Beyond the assignments mentioned, he has also coached the teams of Hungária and Dresdner SC. Hogan also had a short spell in the early 1950s as a coach at Celtic. His ideas, which emphasised greater ball control, were often dismissed within British football, although he did have a formative influence on the generation of managers who would emerge in the 1960s, from Hungary, Netherlands, and Germany just to name a few.[2][6] He joined Brentford as coach in September 1948.[7]

He is sometimes credited with the revolution in European football that saw Hungary thrash England 6–3 at Wembley in 1953, ushering in a new football era. After the match, Sándor Barcs,[8] then president of the Hungarian Football Federation, said to the press, "Jimmy Hogan taught us everything we know about football."[9] Gusztáv Sebes, the Hungarian footballer and coach, said of Hogan, "We played football as Jimmy Hogan taught us. When our football history is told, his name should be written in gold letters".[10]




BSC Young Boys

Aston Villa



  1. Wilson, Jonathon (2009). Inverting the Pyramid. Orion. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4091-0204-5.
  2. "How total football inventor was lost to Hungary". The Guardian. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  3. Wilson, Jonathan (2013). Inverting the Pyramid. United Kingdom: Orion Books. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-1-4091-2864-9.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. Wilson, Jonathon (2009). Inverting the Pyramid. Orion. ISBN 978-1-4091-0204-5.
  6. Helmut Schön: Fußball. Erinnerungen. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 1978, ISBN 3-550-07676-2. S66/67.
  7. Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 70. ISBN 978-0955294914.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Rice, Simon (13 April 2010). "Notable British managers to coach abroad". The Independent.
  10. Jonathan Wilson, The Anatomy of England: a History in Ten Matches (Orion Publishing Group, London 2010)
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