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Gerry Hitchens

Personal information
Full nameGerald Archibald Hitchens
Date of birth8 October 1934
Place of birthCannock, Staffordshire, England
Date of death13 April 1983(age 48)
Place of deathHope, Clwyd, Wales
Playing positionCentre forward

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Gerald Archibald "Gerry" Hitchens (8 October 1934 13 April 1983) was an English footballer, who played as a centre forward.

Hitchens was born in the village of Rawnsley, Staffordshire, near Cannock, and began his career with non-league Kidderminster Harriers in 1953. He moved to Cardiff City in 1954 for £1,500, and moved on to Aston Villa in 1957 for £22,500, where he spent four seasons, scoring 96 goals in 160 appearances. He made his debut for England in 1961, scoring after just 90 seconds in an 8-0 drubbing of Mexico, and two weeks later scored twice more in Rome as England beat Italy 3 2. This brought him to the attention of Internazionale, who signed him in the summer of 1962 for £85,000 as part of a spate of British exports (Jimmy Greaves, Denis Law and Joe Baker also moved to Italy that season).

He played for England in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and won a total of seven caps, scoring five goals. However, when Alf Ramsey took over as England manager, Hitchens' international spell came to a halt—Ramsey preferring to pick home-based players. Nevertheless, Hitchens stayed in Italy for nine years (a record which still stands in the Guinness Book of records), also playing for Torino, Atalanta and Cagliari. After retiring, he played for Worcester City and Merthyr Tydfil before moving to Wales, where he died playing in a charity football match in 1983, at the age of 48.

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