Hobday was a soldier before he joined Spurs in 1913, having served with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in India.
He only stayed at Tottenham for a year, without playing a first team match, but on leaving, he was immediately called up as a reservist and was shipped to France to fight in World War I. His bravery in saving an injured colleague while under attack was rewarded with the British Medal and received the highest honour awarded by the French - the Croise de Geure. His efforts during the conflict saw him recommended for the highest award in the British Army - the Victoria Cross.
He returned to France in 1915 and in June, he was among the thousands who fell at Ypres, when a third of the 3rd Battalion were lost.