Rowland Woodhouse

Rowland Woodhouse : Preston North End

Rowland Woodhouse was born in Leyland on 15th January, 1897. He played for Lancaster Town before signing for Preston North End in 1919.

Woodhouse, a talented inside-forward, was one of the smallest players to appear in Preston's team. This did not stop him scoring in his first game for Preston against Bradford City.

Woodhouse developed a good partnership with centre-forward, Tommy Roberts. In the 1920-21 season Woodhouse scored 16 goals whereas Roberts managed 25.

Preston North End did very well in the FA Cup that season. Led by veteran defender, Joseph McCall, the club defeated Newcastle United (3-1), Barnsley (3-0), Arsenal (2-1) and Tottenham Hotspur (2-1) on the way to the final against Huddersfield Town. Preston lost to the only goal of the game, a penalty conceded by Tommy Hamilton. It was awarded after Hamilton tripped Huddersfield's outside-left Billy Smith. Hamilton admitted the offence but claimed it was outside the penalty area.

Despite the goals from Woodhouse and Tommy Roberts, Preston continued to struggle in the league. The club finished 16th (1921-22), 16th (1922-23) and 18th (1923-24) in the First Division of the Football League.

Jim Lawrence replaced Vincent Hayes at the end of the 1923-24 season. Lawrence had won three First Division championships and five FA Cup medals while playing in goal for Newcastle United. However, he had very little experience as a manager, having served for less than a season at South Shields. Preston was also undergoing a financial crisis and his first action was to sell the club's leading scorer, Tommy Roberts to Burnley. In the previous five seasons he had scored 118 goals in 199 games.

Lawrence signed veteran strike, Horace Barnes, from Manchester City to replace Tommy Roberts. Woodhouse was asked to play in a deeper, midfield role, but still managed to score 9 goals that season. Barnes scored six in his first 10 games and finished as the club's joint top scorer in the league. Despite the goals of Woodhouse and Barnes, Preston North End finished in 21st place in the league and were relegated to the Second Division.

In May 1926 Woodhouse joined Everton. However, he only managed two games for him that season and moved on to Wrexham in 1927. Woodhouse scored 21 goals in 113 games before ending his career at Halifax Town.

Rowland Woodhouse died in 1969.