Hodgson had only recently revealed he was due to miss this summer's Euro 2012 finals - where he was to work as a member of UEFA's technical study group - after being urged by his wife to take a rare break from football.
Yet now the West Brom head coach is to lead England in Poland and Ukraine after becoming Fabio Capello's successor.
It all seems a long way removed from the dark days of his Anfield tenure.
Hodgson, who will be 65 this summer, was shown the exit door at Liverpool after just half a season in charge, having succeeded Rafael Benitez in the summer of 2010.
His spell at Liverpool - which was marred by a Carling Cup defeat at home to League Two side Northampton and a string of below-par league performances - marked a rare failure in a managerial career that began in Sweden in 1976.
Seven Swedish league titles and two Swedish Cups followed at Halmstad and Malmo over the next 13 years, while Scandinavia continued its benevolence towards Hodgson in a later spell at FC Copenhagen, with whom he won the Danish league and cup double in 2001.
Hodgson also managed with varying degrees of success at Inter Milan, Blackburn, Viking, Grasshoppers and Udinese, while head coaching roles at international level with Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland dovetailed with his club experience to give the 64-year-old a unique perspective on the game.
Hodgson's return to English football as boss of Fulham in 2007 heralded a more settled period in his career that went some way to removing the journeyman tag that had been attached to him.
In nearly three years at Craven Cottage, Hodgson transformed the club from relegation battlers to top-10 candidates, and he famously led the club to the final of the 2010 Europa League - where they lost in extra-time to Atletico Madrid.
His time at Liverpool doubtless damaged his reputation, but the veteran boss still had a host of admirers.
Certainly West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace saw the merits of bringing Hodgson in on an 18-month deal to save the Baggies from relegation after sacking Roberto Di Matteo midway through last season.
Hodgson's organisational and tactical nous allied to skilful man-management brought together a squad which had floundered under the Italian. Nineteen points from the final 12 games meant Albion comfortably avoided the drop, and this season they have gone from strength to strength.
Yet Hodgson has been in no hurry to commit his future to West Brom despite his advisors opening talks with the club.
Although he showed admirable diplomacy in fielding endless questions relating to the England job since Capello's departure earlier this year, it is tempting to believe that Hodgson always knew England would come knocking - despite the very public clamour for Harry Redknapp to get the nod.
After the four-man FA board appointed Hodgson it remains to be seen how one of the world's most experienced football personalities copes with leading his country.