Interview – Mark Hudson

Start listening

The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by Mark Hudson to discuss a career that has seen him flourish as a leader on the pitch as a Premier League footballer, as well as off of it more recently as a manager.

Icebreaker:

Having found a post on Mark’s Twitter from 2015 in which he praises a drawing of Clint Eastwood that done by his former teammate Kevin McNaughton, the group discuss their most impressive artistic moments.

On Football in Mark’s Childhood:

Mark was determined to pursue a career in football from an early age and was supported in his efforts by his family. While it’s always a good idea in life to have a backup plan, Mark cites his tunnel vision like perspective on football as a reason for his ultimate success. Some of his earliest memories of playing football are in the snow as a child; Mark just always remembers kicking a ball around. Despite facing incredible odds statistically speaking as an aspiring young footballer, you only get out what you put in according to Mark.

On Developing at Fulham and On Loan:

Mark came through the Fulham academy at a time when the club’s stock was massively on the rise. By the time he was in and around the first team squad the club were s Premier League side with superstars like Louis Saha and Edwin van der Sar. Other academy products at the time included Kevin Betsy, Elvis Hammond, Sean Davis and Zat Knight. Mark speaks about the influence of senior pros around him at Fulham and how he adopted some of their habits and routines when it came to maximizing fitness and prolonging his career.

Mark discusses the conversations he had with Chris Coleman about his development and eventually going on loan to play for Iain Dowie at Oldham Athletic and then Crystal Palace in what would prove to be Mark’s final season at Craven Cottage. Mark discusses his unique diet of sandwiches at this time, as well as his living situation that saw him sleeping on an inflatable mattress. Nonetheless, at this point Mark was enjoying his first consistent spell playing first team football at a senior level and he had no intention of looking back.

On Crystal Palace:

The following season after helping push Palace to Premier League promotion during his loan spell, Mark was signed on a permanent basis by Iain Dowie. He began the season as a starter in the heart of Crystal Palace’s defence, however injuries would limit Mark to only a few appearances and the Eagles would eventually and dramatically be relegated on the final day of the season.

Over the next few seasons at Palace the club would struggle to bounce back to the Premier League. Managers came and went and in particular Mark has amusing memories of Neil Warnock’s time in charge, especially his first training session… as old school as you get, Warnock showed up with two bags full of balls and had the squad compete full throttle on a small pitch in a session that was intended as a way for the new manager to weed out the real characters in his squad but that ended with multiple injuries and no doubt some bruised egos.

Mark talks about his experience partnering a future Ligue 1 and EURO winner Jose Fonte in defence while they were both at Crystal Palace.

On Cardiff City:

After a season at Charlton that ended in relegation from the Championship to League One (which he would describe as a low point of his career) Mark joined Cardiff City. He was appointed club captain at an early stage and speaks about the qualities like honesty and trustworthiness that many of his managers saw in him.

Cardiff would come close to promotion on several occasions before finally achieving it under manager Malky Mackay. Injuries would again limit Mark’s involvement in Premier League action and Cardiff were relegated at the end of their first season. Partway through that season the club appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager. Mark talks about his turbulent relationship with the now Manchester United manager and also shares his thoughts on owner Vincent Tan’s decision to change the club’s kit from blue to red.

Mark gives a word on his former teammates Peter Whittingham who sadly passed away in 2020.

On Huddersfield Town and Coaching:

Mark Moved to Huddersfield Town aged 32 and helped solidify the club’s stature as a mid-table Championship side, however in his final season as a player he helped them achieve the unthinkable feat of promotion to the Premier League. Despite the opportunity of another shot at the top level Mark discusses how the time was right to hang up his boots and transition in to coaching, which he claims to enjoy more than playing!

Leave a Reply