Jimmy Hogan, one of the great pioneers of European football, is honoured in his home town Burnley
Jimmy Hogan - who played for Rochdale Town, Burnley, Nelson, Fulham, Swindon Town and Bolton Wanderers, before coaching FC Dordrecht, Amateure SV, MTK, Young Boys, Switzerland, Lausanne-Sport, Dresdner SC, Austria Wien, RC Paris, Fulham, Aston Villa, Hungary and Celtic - finally had a headstone erected in Burnley Cemetary to mark his grave.
After dying in 1974, aged 91, the Turf Moor Memorial Garden, supported by former directors of Burnley FC, as well as some of Jimmy’s former clubs, helped pay for the headstone, and a plaque was placed in the Turf Moor Memorial Garden in the shadow of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.
The Mayor of Burnley, Cllr Mark Townsend, unveiled the headstone, which marked not only Jimmy's grave but three other family members, and is adored with the badges of clubs that supported the project.
Stories were swapped by the congregation, which was led by Catholic priest Fr David Featherstone of St Mary’s Church, Burnley.
Family members and former footballers such as Brian Little, Derek Scott, George Oghani, Frank Casper and Paul Fletcher, mixed with club representatives of Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and Hungarian embassy representatives.
Hogan was born in 1882 in Nelson and grew up in Burnley, attending St Mary Magdalene RC School at Gannow, before his playing and coaching career took him across the continent, before returning to Burnley in his final years.
He is credited with a major role in the revolution in European football, an early form of Total Football, that saw Hungary thump England 6–3 at Wembley in 1953, the first time the Three Lions had lost on home soil to a side from outside the British Isles.
Sándor Barcs, then president of the Hungarian Football Federation, said to the press: "Jimmy Hogan taught us everything we know about football", while Gusztáv Sebes, the Hungarian footballer and coach, added: "We played football as Jimmy Hogan taught us. When our football history is told, his name should be written in gold letters."
Turf Moor Memorial Garden Chairman Peter Briggs, who managed the project and was the catalyst for the entire event, said: “Jimmy's story hasn’t been heard enough in a part of the world where his legacy should be celebrated the most.
"Both the Austrian and Hungarian people recognise Jimmy's name more than people of his own town.
"I am glad to finally bring Jimmy's story to the forefront of the news in his home country so that he can be rightly celebrated."
The project to create a lasting marker on Jimmy’s grave was financed by the Turf Moor Memorial Garden, Burnley Former Players Association (BFPA), Burnley Football Supporters Club, Aston Villa Football Club, Fulham Football Club, the Celtic Grave Society, MTK Budapest, György Szöllősi, President of the Hungarian Sports Journalists' Association, former Burnley Football Club directors Clive Holt, Martin Hobbs, Terry Crabb, Brendan Flood and Barry Kilby, along with current Burnley Football Club director John Banaszkiewicz and members of Jimmy Hogan’s family.
Anyone that would like to support the endeavour can donate to the project via Peter Briggs on 07966 424188 or email [email protected]