Alan Hill was not a typical full-back. During his ten years at Wrexham, from 1973 to 1983, he played in no fewer than nine positions.
He made over 200 appearances during this period, establishing himself as a consistent and reliable performer.
“I came as a forward, converted into a centre-back and actually played in the first-team as a full-back,” Hill said before last weekend’s game against Aldershot at the Racecourse. “I’ve done the rounds really.”
Amongst the myriad of positions in which he deputised, almost as if to prove his versatility, Hill also played as a goalkeeper.
“I played in goal in a Welsh Cup game,” he explained. “Our keeper got sent off and I had to fill in in goal, which I enjoyed. We lost the game but I enjoyed it.”
Hill joined Wrexham as a teenager and stayed for the remainder of his professional footballing career. He was a part of some of the club’s greatest teams and reflected fondly on his time in North Wales.
“I loved it. I lived the dream really. It’s what most young lads want to do and I had the opportunity to do that so it was great,” he said.
“We played against Newcastle, Tottenham, Nottingham Forest and we beat most of those teams. But Liverpool we lost to.”
A lot has changed since those days. Wrexham are in non-league and attendances have significantly declined, but Hill admitted he has been impressed by the modernisation of the Racecourse.
“It’s completely different,” he added. “This stand wasn’t here when I was playing so it’s really good. The ground and the facilities are good. I’m sure a lot of the fans miss the Kop. As a player it was always great to play in front of the Kop. All the people in there made the atmosphere.”
Hill was also optimistic about Wrexham’s prospects in the coming weeks. Dean Keates’ side are currently in sixth in the National League standings, still with aspirations of promotion back into the Football League.
And Hill claimed it is not inconceivable that Wrexham could eventually return to the heights of the 1970s.
“I don’t think they’re on a bad run at the moment. They’ve not lost in the last 12 games,” he said.
“It’s happened before so it could happen again. You need to have a good structure and a good youth team policy. Players need to have the mentality of winners. That’s really important I think.”
Perhaps a player capable of playing in nine positions would help Wrexham on their way.