Alan Hinton has been feted once more for his huge contribution to football in Seattle and the wider Washington area.
The former Wolves, Derby and England winger was the centre of attention at a function aimed at raising awareness of his adopted region’s sporting past.
‘A Night with Alan Hinton and Friends’ was staged by the Washington State Legends of Soccer, with TV anchor-man Mark Wright as host, and brought tributes from a host of stars including former Wolves and Seattle Sounders keeper Marcus Hahnemann.
“It was a special night – I wish you had been there,” Hinton said in an email to his former Wolves colleague Les Wilson and other friends. “It was way beyond expectations. Some 300 people raised $60,000-plus and the figure is still growing. It was a great and emotional night.
“I received a proclamation from King County for 40 years of service to soccer, plus a beautiful glass piece from Chiluly and a mounted boot from Hummel, inscribed Mr Soccer.”
From across the Canadian border in Vancouver, Wilson replied: “We are thrilled that Seattle and Washington State saluted you, Alan. You have done it all in global football with flying colours and you are without question Mr Soccer in Seattle and Washington State. Our hats are off to you.”
In an interview in the Seattle Times, Hinton said: “My hope is to try and get the fans in our area — who are really, really embracing the Sounders and all aspects of soccer — to learn from the English system.
“Over there, they frequently have nights out with soccer personalities and it’s well accepted. It’s almost done every week.” Hinton mentioned the former Sounders duo of Roger Davies and Steve Daley as examples of the sort of players who were busy on the tribute circuit on this side of the Atlantic.
Having played 78 games for Wolves, served Nottingham Forest, won the League Championship twice with Derby County and been capped five times by England, Hinton relocated his family to North America and played in the NASL for Dallas Tornado and Vancouver Whitecaps, and coached Tulsa Roughnecks before Seattle Sounders hired him in 1980.
His side reached the Soccer Bowl title game in 1982 before losing to New York Cosmos, Hinton going on to coach Tacoma Stars indoor team following the NASL’s demise.
In 1994, he was hired as coach and general manager of the new A-League version of the Sounders — with Hahnemann in goal — and they won the championship in 1995 and 1996.
Hinton and Wilson will underline their close friendship by watching the Vancouver Whitecaps v Seattle Sounders game together in Vancouver on Saturday.
Alan, now 76, said he’s lining up former Sounders and Leicester keeper Kasey Keller for the next Washington State Legends of Soccer event.