Lee James Stephen Hodson (born 2 October 1991) is a professional footballer who plays for Scottish club Hamilton Academical, on loan from League One side Gillingham.
Hodson is a defender, and plays primarily as a right-back, but has had spells at left back and as a wingback during his career. He made his first team debut for Watford in May 2009 against Derby County, before playing in the majority of Watford's games in the 2009–10 season, during which he earned a three-year professional contract.
Although born in England, Hodson was also eligible to play for Northern Ireland through his grandmother. He has represented the latter country at youth, under-19 and under-21 levels, and in November 2010 was called up to the senior Northern Ireland team for the first time.
Hodson was born in Hertfordshire, and grew up in Borehamwood, near Watford. He was involved with "Borehamwood 2000", a football scheme run by Boreham Wood F.C., before joining Watford's youth system. Hodson progressed through the academy, playing 26 times for the under-18 side in 2007–08 despite still being a schoolboy. He also started nine times for the club's reserve team. Hodson signed for the club as an academy scholar in June 2008, and continued to play for the club's reserve and under-18 teams in the 2008–09 season.
He got his first tattoo when his was still at St. Theresa's RC HS in Borehamwood. Since then he has gone under the needle a further five times, including the full sleeve of Jesus's Passion and ultimate sacrifice at Golgotha.
Hodson as a player of Watford
Hodson made named on Watford's substitute bench for the first time on 3 May 2009, in a home game against Derby County. He was brought in the 65th minute, as a substitute for Arsenal loanee Gavin Hoyte. The match finished as a 3–1 Watford win.
Following two separate injuries to club captain Jay DeMerit early in the 2009–10 season, Adrian Mariappa moved to central defence, and Hodson started to play regularly in the Championship at right back. Hodson played in every Watford first team game in September and October 2009, and by November he had earned himself a three-year professional contract with the club. He went on to play 34 first-team matches that season—31 in the Championship—and picked up 2 yellow cards. Although primarily used at right-back, he deputised at left-back when Lloyd Doyley sustained an injury towards the end of the season. Hodson was named the Championship's Apprentice of the Month for November 2009, and was nominated for the division's Apprentice of the Year award; the other nominees were Adam Matthews and Nathan Modest. Matthews, an under-21 international for Wales, eventually won the award.
At the start of the 2010–11 season, Hodson retained his place in the first team, playing in all of Watford's first eight league fixtures. However, following the arrival of left-back Andrew Taylor on loan from Middlesbrough, Hodson faced competition from Doyley for his place at right-back. After period out of the team, Hodson returned to Watford's starting line-up early in 2011, following Taylor's return to Middlesbrough. He scored his first ever senior goal against Leeds United in the Championship on 16 April 2011.
Following the arrival of left back Carl Dickinson, Hodson faced competition at right back from Doyley in the 2011–12 season. Hodson did not make his first start until 29 October. He featured regularly in subsequent months; by 3 March 2012 Hodson had made 20 league starts, although that date marked his last appearance in the 2011–12 season.
On 22 November 2012, Hodson joined Brentford on loan until early January. Hodson extended his loan with Brentford on 8 January 2013 until the end of the 2012–13 season.
Milton Keynes Dons
On 20 July 2013, Hodson joined Milton Keynes Dons on a one-year contract, with the option of another year. On 29 May 2015, Hodson signed a new two-year contract.
On 1 February 2016, Hodson signed for Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock on loan until the end of the 2015–16 season.
On 29 June 2016, Hodson joined Scottish Premiership side Rangers on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut for the club in a League Cup match against Annan Athletic on 19 July 2016. On 3 December 2016, he scored his first goal for the club, against Aberdeen, in a 2–1 victory at Ibrox Stadium.
Although born and raised in England, Hodson is eligible to play for Northern Ireland as his paternal grandmother was born in the country's capital, Belfast. Having represented Northern Ireland at youth and under-19 levels, Hodson moved up to the under-21 team aged 17 in 2009. He played his first games at that level in a side captained by Hodson's former Watford teammate Craig Cathcart. In March 2010 Northern Ireland under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole claimed that the English FA had approached Hodson with a view to him switching his allegiance to England.
Hodson remained with Northern Ireland, and was called up to the senior squad for the first time in November 2010, for a friendly against Morocco. He was subsequently selected for the match. Later that season, Hodson played all of Northern Ireland's matches in the Nations Cup. In 2011–12, Hodson played his first games in the UEFA European Football Championships, in Northern Ireland's qualifiers against Estonia and Italy.
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams
Former Club Staff