Full name John Woodward
Date of birth 16 January 1947 (age 69)
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England
Playing position Forward
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1966 Stoke City 11 (1)
1966–1969 Aston Villa 26 (7)
1969–1973 Walsall 141 (23)
1973–1975 Port Vale 99 (30)
1975–1977 Scunthorpe United 19 (5)
Oostende ? ?
Kidderminster Harriers ? ?
Total 296+ (66+)
John Woodward (born 6 January 1947) is an English former footballer. A forward, he scored 66 goals in 269 league games in a 13-year career in the Football League. He played and scored in all four divisions of the Football League.
He began his career at Stoke City, before he was sold on to Aston Villa for a £30,000 fee in October 1966. He switched to Walsall three years later, before he joined Port Vale for a fee of £2,250 in February 1973. He finished as the club’s top-scorer in 1973–74, but suffered a loss of form and was allowed to join Scunthorpe United in May 1975. After two years with the “Iron” he had spells with Belgian club Oostende and Southern League side Kidderminster Harriers.
Woodward began his career with Stoke City, playing three First Division games in the 1964–65 season. He scored his first senior goal on 27 March 1965, in a 2–1 victory over Aston Villa at the Victoria Ground. He played six games without scoring in 1965–66, and made just two appearances in 1966–67. Aston Villa had been suitably impressed however to offer £30,000 for the striker’s services in October 1966, and “Potters” boss Tony Waddington gladly accepted the offer. He was signed to replace Tony Hateley, who had been sold to Chelsea.
The “Villans” suffered relegation in 1966–67, and could only finish 16th and 18th in the Second Division in 1967–68 and 1968–69. Woodward scored seven goals in 26 league games during a turbulent time at Villa Park, in which Dick Taylor, Tommy Cummings, and Tommy Docherty all had brief spells as manager.
He moved on to Bill Moore’s Walsall, who posted a 12th place finish in the Third Division in 1969–70. The “Saddlers” avoided relegation on goal difference in 1970–71, before rising to ninth in 1971–72. John Smith then took over at Fellows Park, and led the club to a 17th place finish in 1972–73. He scored 23 goals in 125 league games during his four-year spell at the club.
Woodward joined league rivals Port Vale for a fee of £2,250 in February 1973. He hit nine goals in 17 Third Division games in 1972–73, as Gordon Lee’s “Valiants” finished four places and four points shy of promotion. Woodward hit 18 goals in 48 appearances in 1973–74 to finish as the club’s top-scorer. However Lee resigned in January, and the club finished just one place above the relegation zone under new boss Roy Sproson. Under Sproson’s management there were numerous contract disputes, and Woodward was the first to get into such a dispute, and was placed on the transfer-list at his own request in July 1974. Sproson said “he is trying to hold us to ransom and we are not having that”. Woodward only hit five goals in 41 games in 1974–75, and was given a free transfer in May 1975.
He moved on to Fourth Division side Scunthorpe United for the 1975–76 campaign. The “Iron” avoided the re-election places on goal difference, and then finished one place and one point above the re-election zone in 1976–77 under the stewardship of Ron Ashman. Woodward then departed the Old Showground, and had a spell in Belgium with Oostende, before returning to England to play at Aggborough for Southern League side Kidderminster Harriers.