Tom Woodward

Tom Woodward

Thomas (Tom) Woodward was born in Westhoughton on 8th December 1917. He played for White Horse Temperance before joining Bolton Wanderers in 1935.

Woodward made his first team debut as a 18 year-old against Stoke City in February 1936. However, with the signing of England international Albert Geldard, Woodward found it difficult to hold his place in the side.

Woodward established himself in the side in the 1938-39 season and scored three goals in 24 league games. He was a member of the team that included Harry Goslin, Jackie Roberts, Don Howe, Ray Westwood, Jack Atkinson, Albert Geldard and George Eastham.

On 15th March, 1939, Adolf Hitler ordered the German Army to invade Czechoslovakia. It seemed that war was inevitable. On 8th April, Bolton Wanderers played a home game against Sunderland. Before the game started, Harry Goslin, the team captain, spoke to the crowd: "We are facing a national emergency. But this danger can be met, if everybody keeps a cool head, and knows what to do. This is something you can't leave to the other fellow, everybody has a share to do."

Of the 35 players on the staff of Bolton Wanderers, 32 joined the armed services and the other three went into the coal mines and munitions. This included Harry Hubbick, who resumed his career down the pits and Jack Atkinson and George Hunt served in the local police force. A total of 17 players, including Harry Goslin, Danny Winter, Billy Ithell, Albert Geldard, Tommy Sinclair, Don Howe, Ray Westwood, Ernie Forrest, Jackie Roberts, Jack Hurst and Stan Hanson, joined the 53rd (Bolton) Field Regiment, whereas Tom Woodward, became a Physical Training instructor.

After the war Woodward returned to Bolton Wanderers and held his place in the side until being sold to Middlesbrough in October 1949. He had scored 19 goals in 169 league and cup games for Bolton. In 1950 Woodward moved into non-league football.

Tom Woodward died in 1969.