CHRIS Hudson's first memory of football - at the age of six - shaped the next 40-odd years of his life.
The Kiama father of two has followed the sport with an unrivalled passion, even publishing Tasmania's quintessential guide to the game.
"The first recollection I have of football is being carried on my father's shoulders to watch a game among a crowd of 30,000 people at Elland Road, the home of Leeds United, in 1963," he said.
"That moment has lived with me forever."
To this day, Hudson schedules his holidays back home to ensure he sees the games at Elland Road.
His family was always involved in football; his father as an amateur player and his uncle a professional for Leeds United at the end of the war years.
Hudson first played competitive football in primary school and played throughout high school.
When Hudson's mother died in childbirth, he was only 11. Soccer was an escape for him and his older brother, Steve.
Hudson made his semi-professional debut in the Yorkshire League at 17. It wasn't the introduction he was hoping for.
"I broke my left ankle within minutes of coming on as a substitute," he said.
Unfortunately the club brought him back to play too soon and the same ankle snapped again in his third game.
"I was out for 12 months, but my professional career was over," he said.
Hudson moved to Tasmania in 1982 and signed up for Launceston United, but he soon moved on.
He wrote soccer columns for the Launceston Examiner, and realised a need for deeper research into the local history of the game.
For the next 20 years Hudson worked at the Hobart Mercury, where he learnt much of the history of Soccer Tasmania had been lost in a fire.
After seven years of research and writing, Hudson published A Century of Soccer.