An appealing cocktail of dribble and dash carried Leicester City winger Derek Hogg agonisingly close to an England cap in the mid-1950s. That he never made it beyond a solitary outing for the Football League and one for an FA XI was due, perhaps, to a tendency to overdo the intricacy, interrupting the impetus of a flowing team attack in the process.
Hogg was, though, an entertainer – for the Foxes and, later in his career, for West Bromwich Albion, then Cardiff City – and the game would be far poorer without flankmen of his type.
He served early notice of his thrilling ability during a trial as a teenager with Preston North End, a period split by National Service commitments in Egypt. However, he didn't impress enough to earn a professional contract at Deepdale and had dropped into the Lancashire Combination with Chorley when he was signed by Leicester in the autumn of 1952.
A right winger at that point, he made his senior entrance in a 3-3 draw with Leeds United at Filbert Street, but barely featured as City won the Second Division title in 1953-54 and it was not until he switched to the left touchline during the following season – which ended in first-time demotion from the top flight – that he made much impact. He quickly struck up a fruitful partnership with inside-left Arthur Rowley, who was destined to become the most prolific marksman in the history of English football.
A broad hint of an international future arrived in October 1955, when he was employed alongside top talents Johnny Haynes, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney in the Football League's 4-2 victory over the Scottish League at Hillsborough; but he never made the next step.
Back at Leicester in 1956-57, Hogg was a regular provider as Rowley's 44 strikes were the key factor in City's second-tier championship triumph. However, he still retained England ambitions – and to further them he joined West Bromwich Albion for £20,000 in April 1958. During his two seasons at the Hawthorns, meshing neatly with the well-balanced inside trio of Bobby Robson, Ronnie Allen and Derek Kevan, the Throstles finished fifth and fourth in the title race.
But after that they fell away and Hogg was sold to Cardiff City for £12,500 in October 1960. Still capable of dazzling thrusts, Hogg lit up Ninian Park in March that term when the mighty Tottenham Hotspur, who two months later would become the first club in the 20th century to win the League and FA Cup double, were the visitors. Taking possession well inside his own half, he sprinted half the length of the pitch before beating Scottish international Bill Brown with a rasping shot. The Bluebirds won 3-2.
In 1961-62 Cardiff were relegated and at season's end the rangy 31-year-old outside-left, who had contributed 44 goals in his 283 League appearances for his three clubs, stepped down to join Kettering Town of the Southern League.
Derek Hogg, footballer: born Stockton Heath, Cheshire 4 November 1930; played for Leicester City 1952-58, West Bromwich Albion 1958-60, Cardiff City 1960-62; died 4 November 2014.Reuse content