Hugely-talented Alan joined the Gunners aged 25 with his vast potential still seemingly unlocked.
The classy playmaker had risen through the ranks at Chelsea alongside the likes of equally flamboyant stars Peter Osgood and Charlie Cooke. However, after six years at Stamford Bridge, cash-strapped Chelsea sold Alan to Stoke for £240,000 in 1974.
Now in his early 20s, Hudson began to produce some of the football that he had looked destined for as a teenager, eventually helping Stoke to a second-place finish in 1975.
However financial troubles at the Potteries club allowed Arsenal to swoop for the star, still only 25 years old and with bounteous talent. Paired with Liam Brady in central midfield, the Gunners had one of the most mouth-watering combinations in the game.
But, although his Highbury start was promising, Alan never quite delivered in the red-and-white. He was dogged by disciplinary problems throughout his career and they surfaced during the summer tour of 1977 when he was sent home by manager Terry Neill.
Yet in the campaign that followed, he featured prominently in the run that took Arsenal to the 1978 FA Cup Final but turned in a below-par display in the 1-0 defeat to Ipswich at Wembley.
Five months later, after only 46 starts for Arsenal, the midfielder moved to Seattle Sounders with his obvious promise still hidden from the Highbury faithful.
|Arsenal Career||1976 - 1978|
|Appearances||47 (46 starts, 1 as a sub)|
WHAT THE FANS SAID:
"I was, I think, around 13 years old and I was out Christmas shopping with my mum up the west end. My mum was crying because she lost her purse. She had me, my three brothers and my little sister in tow and they were all trying to comfort mum. All I could think about at that moment of crisis was the fact that I just seen Alan Hudson come out of some shop. I got really excited and called out his name really loudly. He looked over and he must of caught sight of mum crying, sarounded by five kids. To my shock he came over and asked my mum if she was alright. When we explained what had happened and mum was worried how we were going to get home, he said to us not to worry. He stopped a black cab and told him the situation and paid him to take us back to Finsbury Park. My mum gave him a hug and kiss and he gave my little sister a kiss and waved us off goodbye. My mum remembers it to this day, he must be the only footballer she knows apart from Pele and Bobby Moore. What a great bloke."
Charalambos Charalambous, Chingford
I was standing on the North Bank watching (I think) the Huddersfield match in about 1978 with the usual guys I drank with in The Plimsoll Arms (now The Auld Triangle) when we noticed a cockerel on the pitch. Being the symbol of that mob down the road we didn't like that one bit so I said "I'm gonna get that off our pitch". No one believed me until I suddenly raced down the front pushing through the crowd. I leapt over the fence onto the pitch and tried to grab the cockerel as it ran away. I managed to grab it by the wing but it got away and before I could make another attempt police officers ran over and arrested me. By this time the game was stopped and some Arsenal players including Alan Hudson came over and pleaded with the police to let me go. Alan Hudson said that I wasn't doing any harm and everyone could see the humour of the occasion. The North Bank even started to chant my name "Trevor Smith!" The police escorted me from the ground and warned me not to return. Meanwhile the game was re-started and stayed at 0-0 until stoppage time (added on because of my intervention!) when the Arsenal scored to win 1-0. That summer I was in a pub in Chelsea with my girlfriend Bev who I'm still with and who happens to be a Chelsea fan when we were approached by this smartly dressed guy who said: "You're the bloke who chased that chicken on the pitch at Highbury... I thought that was hilarious. Let me get you both a drink". He was none other than Alan Hudson! I still get recognised for it now and I've managed to persuade Bev and our daughter Roxanne to follow Arsenal.
Trevor Charles Smith, Maidstone, Kent
In terms of technical ability, the man was brilliant, alongside the likes of Brady, Bergkamp and so on as one of the most skilful players I've seen in the shirt. He was so talented that I almost feel cheated that he played fewer than 50 games for Arsenal. If I had to sum up Alan Hudson's ability in one word, that word would be 'genius'.
Bernard Dowling, Hertfordshire