Paul John Bodin (born 13 September 1964) is a former Wales international footballer and coach. His son, Billy Bodin, is also a professional footballer.
A former Chelsea youth team graduate, he moved to Cardiff City via Newport County in 1982. He helped Cardiff to win promotion out of the Third Division in 1982–83. He returned to non-League football with Merthyr Tydfil and Bath City in 1985, before rejoining Newport for a £15,000 fee in January 1988. Two months later he was sold on to Swindon Town for twice this sum, and became the club's first choice left-back, helping them to win the 1990 Second Division play-off final and winning himself a place on the PFA Team of the Year in 1990–91. He was sold to Crystal Palace for £550,000 in March 1991, but was loaned out to Newcastle United before being sold back to Swindon for £225,000 in January 1992. Named as Swindon's Player of the Season in 1992–93, he scored the winning goal in the 1991 First Division play-off final. He featured in the Premier League, though after two successive relegations he again earned a place on the Second Division's PFA Team of the Year in 1995–96. He then spent two seasons with Reading, as well as a loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, before entering management with Bath City in 1998. He also won 23 caps for Wales between 1990 and 1994.
He spent three seasons as Bath City's manager, before spending 12 years as a youth team coach at Swindon, also spending two games in caretaker charge of the first team in 2011. He then coached at Southampton's Academy, before becoming assistant manager at Port Vale in May 2015.
Bodin began his career with Chelsea as a schoolboy, but left Stamford Bridge without making a first team appearance for the "Blues" and moved onto a brief spell with Newport County. He then joined his home town club Cardiff City and was handed his professional debut on the opening day of the 1982–83 season against Wrexham. He helped Len Ashurst's "Bluebirds" to promotion into the Second Division in his first year, finishing as Third Division runners-up to Portsmouth. Jimmy Goodfellow then led Cardiff to a 15th-place finish in the 1983–84 season, before Alan Durban took charge at Ninian Park and led Cardiff to relegation in the 1984–85 campaign, after which Bodin left the club and joined Merthyr Tydfil.
He signed with Conference club Bath City, who finished 12th at the end of the 1985–86 season. He scored 21 goals for the "Romans" in the 1986–87 season, helping the Twerton Park club to a tenth-place finish. Bath were relegated to the Southern League out of the Conference in the 1987–88 season, though in January 1988 Bodin went in the opposite direction as he made a return to the Football League with Brian Eastick's Newport for a £15,000 transfer fee, who themselves were heading for relegation at the end of the season.
Bodin left Newport for Second Division side Swindon Town in March 1988 for a fee of £30,000, as cover for Phil King; he signed a three-year contract. Lou Macari took the "Robins" to the play-offs in the 1988–89 season, where they were beaten by Crystal Palace. When King left for Sheffield Wednesday in November the following year, Bodin became the club's first choice left back. He was almost ever-present under Osvaldo Ardiles in the 1989–90 campaign as Swindon reached the play-off final at Wembley, where they beat Sunderland 1–0. However they were denied a place in the First Division due to a financial scandal, and Bodin was sold on to Steve Coppell's Crystal Palace for £550,000 in March 1991. He failed to break into the "Eagles" first team as Palace reached third in the league in the 1990–91 campaign, though he was still named on the Second Division PFA Team of the Year for his time at Swindon. Ardiles took him back into the Second Division with Newcastle United for a short loan spell in December 1991.
Bodin returned to the County Ground just ten months after he had left - Glenn Hoddle paying a fee of £225,000 in January 1992. Hoddle played Bodin as a more attack-minded wing back, making better use of Bodin's crossing ability. He also installed Bodin as the club's penalty taker - moves which were to come to fruition the following season, when he scored a total of twelve goals from his new position. Five of these goals came from the penalty spot - the last of which gave Swindon the lead in the dying minutes of the 1993 play-off final win over Leicester City. He was named as the club's Player of the Season for 1992–93. He performed well in the Premier League, scoring seven league goals, including penalty strikes against Manchester United and Arsenal as Swindon were relegated at the end of the 1993–94 season. He remained as John Gorman's first choice left back for two more seasons, despite a second successive relegation in 1994–95. He helped the club to the Second Division championship under Steve McMahon in 1995–96, ahead of initial first choice left-back Jason Drysdale, before leaving the club at the end of that season despite being named on the PFA Team of the Year for the second time in his career.
He was signed by his former teammate Jimmy Quinn at Reading in July 1996. He made 36 appearances in the 1996–97 campaign despite being told he would only be used as emergency cover in case on injuries. He spent the first half of the 1997–98 season on loan at John Gregory's Second Division Wycombe Wanderers. He left Elm Park after Tommy Burns's "Royals" were relegated out of the First Division in 1998. He returned to Bath City to take up a position as player-manager. He led the club to fourth-place finishes in the Southern League in 1998–99 and 1999–2000, and a 15th-place finish in 2000–01. In 2001 his position was dropped to a part-time role due to financial troubles at the club and he subsequently resigned.
Bodin won 23 caps for Wales under the management of Terry Yorath and Mike Smith, making his debut in a 1–0 win over Costa Rica. He missed a penalty when the score was 1–1 in Wales' final and decisive 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home to Romania, a game Wales needed to win in order to qualify but they subsequently lost 2–1. Speaking in 2015, he said "I have had to live with that hurt and it never quite goes away".
Bodin was appointed a coach in Swindon Town's youth team set-up in 2001. In April 2011 he took over as caretaker manager of Swindon for the final two games of the 2011–12 season after the departure of Paul Hart. Following the arrival of Paolo Di Canio, Bodin rebuffed advances from Torquay United to become assistant manager under good friend Martin Ling, and opted to sign a new long term deal with the club following the revelations he had been working without a contract for three and a half years. He left the club in June 2013. He went on to work in Southampton's Academy.
In May 2015, Rob Page appointed Bodin as his assistant manager at Port Vale. He rejected the chance to follow Page to Northampton Town in May 2016, and resigned his post at Vale Park for "personal reasons".
His son, Billy Bodin, is also a professional footballer.Sourced from Paul Bodin profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Football League Third Division runner-up: 1982–83
Football League Second Division play-off winner: 1990
Football League First Division play-off winner: 1991
Football League Second Division champion: 1995–96
PFA Team of the Year (Second Division): 1990–91 & 1995–96
Swindon Town F.C. Player of the Season: 1992–93