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Famous Like Me > Footballer > W > Chris Woods

Profile of Chris Woods on Famous Like Me

Name: Chris Woods  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th November 1959
Place of Birth: Boston, Lincolnshire
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Chris Woods (born November 14, 1959 in Boston, Lincolnshire) was a football goalkeeper who was best known for being Peter Shilton's long-time understudy in the England team in the mid to late 1980s.

Woods was a confident, brave, and agile goalkeeper, and his association with Shilton began at an early age when he signed for Nottingham Forest as an apprentice in 1976. Over the next three years he never made an appearance for Forest as they won promotion from the Football League Second Division in 1977 - Shilton had yet to arrive at this time - and then won the Football League First Division title straightaway. Shilton came to the club in September 1977 and didn't miss a match.

However, Woods was given his chance to make an impact when he was selected by manager Brian Clough to play in Forest's League Cup fixtures that season, as Shilton had already appeared for previous club Stoke City in the competition and was therefore cup-tied. Forest reached the final where they played Liverpool at Wembley and Woods was thrust on to the big stage as an unknown outside of Nottingham. He responded with a brave and mature display, and a number of telling saves, as the game ended 0-0. He kept a second clean sheet in the replay and a John Robertson penalty won Forest the game and the Cup.

Woods' heroics were, however, never going to displace Shilton, whose form in the First Division was such that he was only ever going to miss a match if he became injured. Forest went on to win the League Cup again in 1979, but this time Shilton played. Woods was on the bench when Forest then won the European Cup with a 1-0 win over Malmö in Munich, and therefore gained a medal.

In the summer, Queens Park Rangers offered 250,000 pounds for Woods, even though he was not yet 20 years old and had not made a League appearance. The move took place and Woods settled into Second Division life as QPR's first-choice goalkeeper. He played two seasons there before Norwich City offered 225,000 pounds to take Woods to East Anglia.

As Norwich's goalkeeper, Woods' performances really began to attract attention. In 1985 Norwich reached the League Cup final and Woods picked up his second winners medal when his side beat Sunderland 1-0 at Wembley, though Woods was fortunate not to concede when Sunderland player Clive Walker struck a penalty against his left-hand post. Despite Woods' subsequent efforts, Norwich were relegated at the end of that season, but England coach Bobby Robson had seen enough to take Woods on a post-season tour of North America.

In the international fold, Woods was once again Shilton's back-up, but he was given his debut in a friendly against the USA in Los Angeles. He would rarely be left out of an England squad again over the next five years.

Woods went to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico as Shilton's potential replacement; he wasn't required to play and England exited in the quarter-finals. After the tournament, he left Norwich for Glasgow Rangers in a 600,000 pounds deal as one of the original 'English invasion' players brought in by Graeme Souness - one of the others was Woods' England team-mate Terry Butcher.

Woods won a Scottish League Premier Division title medal and a Scottish League Cup medal in his first season, though also suffered the ignominy of being sent off in an Old Firm game against Celtic after a spat with opposing centre forward Frank McAvennie. Meanwhile, he got his fifth England cap - and his second start - in a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia at Wembley which inched England further towards qualification for the 1988 European Championships.

Woods came on as a sub for Shilton twice in 1987; and started two matches - a European Championships qualifier against Turkey and a goalless draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in the Rous Cup. Two more starts would follow in ther subsequent season prior to the European Championships in Germany; meanwhile, Woods managed to retain the Scottish League Cup with Rangers, even though Celtic took the bigger prizes.

England suffered two embarrassing defeats in the opening brace of group games at the 1988 European Championships, and therefore Robson could afford to rest Shilton for the third and final group match, against the USSR, which had been rendered meaningless. Woods therefore played his first match in a competitive finals - his 13th in total - conceding three times as England rolled over with spectacular ineptitude.

Rangers regained the Scottish Premier League in 1989, though Woods missed half the season with injury. By now, another goalkeeper had emerged as a potential successor to the ageing Shilton, with QPR's David Seaman receiving a first cap in a draw against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. However, Woods was still regarded by Robson as his primary understudy for Shilton, who had, by now, earned his 100th cap and was about to break Bobby Moore's record of 108. Also on the scene was Dave Beasant, who won two caps as a sub as Robson checked out other goalkeepers, but still Woods was the man whom Robson would call in a Shilton-related emergency. As all this went on, England qualified for the 1990 World Cup in Italy with some ease and Woods picked up another Scottish Premier League title with Rangers.

Robson chose Woods and Beasant as Shilton's understudies - Seaman was injured, but even if he had been available Woods would still have been in the squad - and England went to the semi-finals, where they lost on penalties to West Germany. Robson had considered substituting Shilton prior to the penalty shootout which defeated England, but not to Woods' benefit. Beasant, also available on the bench, was a renowned penalty stopper and the thought of putting him in goal crossed Robson's mind. However, he decided not to do so.

Woods didn't get a look-in again - even though England were forced to play the third place play-off match against Italy after their semi-final defeat, Robson chose to keep Shilton in the side for his 125th and final cap. Robson also quit afterwards and successor Graham Taylor instantly installed Woods as his number one.

By the summer of 1991, Woods had won another Scottish title medal with Rangers and accumulated 24 caps as England made steady progress through their qualification for the 1992 European Championships. In August that year, Rangers accepted an offer of 1.2 million pounds from Sheffield Wednesday and Woods headed to Hillsborough.

Wednesday had just won the League Cup and promotion to the First Divison, so Woods was back in English football's top flight again after a six-year absence. He went to the 1992 European Championships as England's first choice keeper and kept clean sheets in his first two matches. Unfortunately, England couldn't score in either so victory was paramount against hosts Sweden in the last group match. Unfortunately, Sweden won 2-1, England were eliminated and Woods had suffered major disappointment in his first tournament as England's number one keeper.

He stayed in the side the following year as England stuttered in their qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, losing a crucial match in Oslo against Norway in the process. Then, after a bad defeat against the USA in Boston during a summer tour in 1993, Taylor dropped Woods and, after trying two other keepers, installed Seaman in the side. Woods, after 43 caps, would never play for England again.

His club career was also full of disappointments in 1993, as Wednesday reached the League Cup final again but lost 2-1 to Arsenal. The two sides then met again in the FA Cup final - Woods' first - and drew 1-1, before a late, late Andy Linighan header in the closing seconds of extra time made it over the line, with Woods shouldering some of the blame, and Arsenal emerged victorious again.

By 1996, Woods found himself out of favour at Wednesday and had a short loan spell at Reading before moving to the USA to play for Colorado Rapids. He then returned to England for spells at Southampton, Sunderland and Burnley before retiring.

Woods is now the goalkeeping coach at Everton. He took this job under his ex-Rangers boss Walter Smith and has continued in the role under current manager David Moyes.

In 2005 Chris appeared in Sky Ones The Match, replacing Neville Southall late in the second half, saving Darren Campbell's penalty.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chris Woods