Idris Hopkins

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Idris 'Dai' Hopkins
Personal information
Full name Idris Morgan Hopkins
Date of birth (1910-10-11)11 October 1910
Place of birth Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Date of death 9 October 1994(1994-10-09) (aged 83)
Place of death High Wycombe, England
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Right wing
Number 7
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1927 Merthyr Town Unknown
1929 Sheffield Wednesday Unknown
1932 Crystal Palace 4 (0)
1932–1947 Brentford 272 (77)
1947 Bristol City 27 (0)
Total 303 (77)
National team
1934–1939 Wales 12 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Idris Morgan (Dai) Hopkins (11 October 1910 – 9 October 1994) was a Welsh footballer famed for his talented right foot. He played for many clubs throughout his career, but most famously Brentford where he captained them in the English 1st Division. He was born in Merthyr Tydfil.

Early life[edit]

Hopkins was born in the mining town of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, son of a coal miner. He was naturally right footed but spent a great deal of time improving his weaker left foot repeatedly kicking a ball against a wall until it was of equal standard. Before turning professional he played football at an amateur level for Gellyfaelog, New Road and Merthyr Town.

Professional football career[edit]

Hopkins' career as a professional footballer started when he was signed by Sheffield Wednesday having been spotted playing at amateur level. He moved on to Crystal Palace in 1932[1] where he played 4 games before being transferred to Brentford.

It was at Brentford where he established himself as a footballer as part of their greatest ever team.[2] He wore the number 7 shirt and was an old fashioned inside forward with two good feet and a determined attitude. Between 1932 and 1947 and he made 290 official appearances scoring 77 goals,[3] however his total number of both appearances and goals for the club is considerably higher if appearances made during the war which do not count towards players' official records are included.

In 1946 Brentford, in Division 1, and with Hopkins as club captain were relegated to Division 2. During that season at the age of 39 he scored 4 goals. This season was the last, as of 2008, that Brentford FC were in the top flight of English football.

In May 1947 he left Brentford and signed for Bristol City[4] where he played 24 times before retiring in 1948 at the age of 40.

He also made two appearances for West Ham United as a guest player during World War II .[5]

His weekly wage was £12, the maximum permitted under league rules. Equivalent to £330 a week in 2007 terms, it was significantly lower than the wages of modern international footballers. He was inducted into the Brentford Hall of Fame in 1989.

International career[edit]

Hopkins was capped 12 times for Wales playing in the British Home Championships between 1934 and 1939, and undoubtedly would have won more if it hadn't been for World War II. He also made 9 appearances for Wales in wartime internationals scoring once.

During his international career he played against such greats as Cliff Bastin, Stanley Matthews and Tommy Lawton. Perhaps the most notable match he appeared in was Wales 4–2 victory over England in 1938 at Ninian Park as part of the 1939 British Home Championship. Idris was amongst the scorers for Wales with Stanley Matthews and Tommy Lawton netting for England[6]

Full Internationals
Home Side Away Side Date Score Ground Goals
Scotland Wales 21 November 1934 3–2 Pittodrie Aberdeen 0
Wales Ireland 27 March 1935 3–1 Racecourse Ground Wrexham 1
England Wales 5 February 1936 1–2 Molyineux Wolverhampton 0
Ireland Wales 11 March 1936 3–2 Celtic Park Belfast 0
Wales England 17 October 1936 2–1 Ninian Park Cardiff 0
Scotland Wales 2 December 1936 1–2 Dens Park Dundee 0
Wales Ireland 17 March 1937 4–1 Racecourse Ground Wrexham 0
England Wales 17 November 1937 2–1 Ayresome Park Middlesbrough 0
Ireland Wales 16 March 1938 1–0 Windsor Park Belfast 0
Wales England 22 October 1938 4–2 Ninian Park Cardiff 1
Scotland Wales 9 November 1938 3–2 Tynecastle Edinburgh 0
Wales Northern Ireland 15 March 1939 3–2 Racecourse Ground Wrexham 0
Wartime Internationals
Home Side Away Side Date Score Ground Goals
Wales England 11 November 1939 1–1 Ninian Park Cardiff 0
Wales England 18 November 1939 2–3 Racecourse Ground Wrexham 0
England Wales 13 April 1940 0–1 Wembley 0
England Wales 26 April 1941 4–1 City Ground Nottingham 0
England Wales 25 October 1941 2–1 St. Andrews Birmingham 1
Wales England 9 May 1942 1–0 Ninian Park Cardiff 0
England Wales 24 October 1942 1–2 Molyineux Wolves 0
England Wales 22 February 1942 5–3 Wembley 0
Wales England 5 May 1944 0–2 Ninian Park Cardiff 0

Honours[edit]

Brentford

Non-playing Career and Retirement[edit]

After football Idris had spells coaching in Sweden with IFK Norrkoping and FK Slepnier, and Turkey with Demirspor F.C. He also managed Ramsgate, Portadown and Sutton United. He eventually moved to Middlesex before settling in Buckinghamshire with his wife, Nancy, and sons Barry and Ashley.

He was modest about his career but did on occasion share his stories providing an insight into the game of old.[7]

Idris died in on 9 October 1994 two days before his 84th birthday. A minutes' silence was held as a mark of respect before Brentford F.C's next match on the following Saturday.

External links[edit]

References[edit]