10 things you need to know about Roy Hodgson

He's an "old-school socialist" and a Philip Roth fan.

New Statesman
New England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Getty Images

It's official: Roy Hodgson has been named the new England manager. The 64-year-old has managed 16 different teams in eight countries, and coached a number of sides including Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, FC Copenhagen, Grasshoppers and Halmstads BK. 

But Hodgson also leads an exciting life outside football...

1. He's a big literature fan

Hodgson spilled his passion for reading to the Daily Mail last year, saying: “I’ve got quite a voracious appetite. I enjoy the classics or good story-tellers. I’ve read nearly all of those who have won the Nobel Prize. I like Philip Roth, John Updike and Richard Yates. I had a period where I read a lot of Czech literature, the likes of Milan Kundera and Ivan Klima. I like German writers, too, such as Hermann Hesse."

England's new manager was spotted at the 2009 launch of Sebastian Faulks' A Week in December - deep in conversation with the author himself.

2. He's an "old-school socialist"...

...according to an acquaintance.

3. He enjoys high-brow entertainment

During his two years at Fulham, Hodgson enjoyed attending the opera, in particular Puccini's Turandot and Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. He has also confessed that one of his favourite films is Gerard Depardieu's Quand j'etais chanteur, and is a fan of the slick 1960s drama Mad Men, which he described as "outstanding".

4. He speaks six languages

Whoever said the English were ignorant abroad? Hodgson speaks fluent Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese, German and Italian - as well as some French, Finnish, Danish and Korean.

5. He's down with the kids

In the 1970s, Hodgson was a PE teacher at Alleyn's School in South London. He also worked in a school in Pretoria, South Africa.

6. He plays the harmonica

...according to the Daily Star

7. He collects watches

In a recent interview, Hodgson told the Mail that if his house were burning down, his expensive watches would be the first items to be rescued.

8. He compared himself to Russian artist Kandinsky

Hodgson said of his career: "I've gone sideways, backwards and upwards again."

9. In a film of his life, he would like to be played by Hugh Grant

He may be in luck. Grant is a Fulham supporter and in 2010 claimed: "I want to sleep with Roy Hodgson."

10. He's not Harry Redknapp

 

Update: The New Statesman has also learnt that Roy Hodgson was in the same year as Jamie Reid, who did the Sex Pistols art work, at the John Ruskin grammar school. Folk singer Ralph McTell also attended the school.