By Ashley Hyne, author of George Raynor (History Press, 2014)
Despite being considered the greatest coach in the history of the game, Jimmy Hogan is also the great mystery man of British football. His significance has so far been misunderstood by historians and his influence misapplied. A previous attempt at writing his life story was so poorly conceived that it wrongly stated his date of birth and held that he was utterly integral in the 6-3 defeat of England by Hungary in 1953. Others have argued that he was solely responsible for the development of ‘Total Football’ and should be considered ‘the father of Brazilian football’.
Hogan’s renown is undoubtedly merited but his achievements are now for the first time presented in their proper context. This new biography looks at the impact of his leaving the priesthood as the key turning point in his life and examines his incredible mastery of the media of his time – the key reason why Hogan became so famous. It examines the strange relationship he had with a number of administrators and British club sides and the concerns and issues professional players had with him and his work.
This biography challenges the understanding of what we know of Hogan and examines him afresh. It seeks to present Hogan not from the prism of positive bias but to objectively assess his faults, failures and successes and leaves open the question as to whether Jimmy Hogan really was the Greatest Coach Ever?