Andy Woodward

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Andy Woodward
Personal information
Full name Andrew Woodward
Date of birth (1973-09-23) 23 September 1973 (age 45)
Place of birth Stockport, England
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Crewe Alexandra 20 (0)
1994–1999 Bury 115 (1)
1999–2000 Sheffield United 3 (0)
2000–2001Scunthorpe United (loan) 12 (0)
2001–2002 Halifax Town 30 (1)
Northwich Victoria
Total 180 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Andrew Woodward (born 23 September 1973 in Stockport, England) is an English former professional footballer who played in the English Football League for Crewe Alexandra, Bury, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe United (two loan spells) and Halifax Town.[1] Later a serving police officer, dismissed for gross misconduct in November 2016, he shortly after revealed he had been a victim of child sexual abuse.

Football career[edit]

Woodward signed his first professional contract with Crewe in July 1992, and made his first team debut in April 1994, coming on as a substitute in a Third Division match at Walsall. He made his first professional start on 17 August 1993, playing in a League Cup tie against Wrexham at Gresty Road.[2]

He joined Bury in March 1997 and played for the Lancashire club 134 times in three years. He scored his first league goal on 26 December 1998 against his former club, Crewe, in a 3-1 defeat at Gresty Road.[3] He was then signed by Sheffield United in March 2000. He played only four games for the Blades, and had two loan spells at Scunthorpe, before joining Halifax Town in the summer of 2001.[1] When Halifax went into administration in the summer of 2002, Woodward was sacked, and subsequently joined Northwich Victoria.[4]

Police career[edit]

Andrew Woodward joined the Lancashire police force after retiring from football, eventually leaving the force in November 2016. He was dismissed for gross misconduct following an inappropriate relationship with a family member of a victim.[5]

Victim of sex abuse[edit]

Later in November 2016, it was reported that Woodward had been a victim of repeated child sexual abuse by Barry Bennell (later convicted as a paedophile) while a trainee at Crewe Alexandra in the 1980s.[5][6][7][8] Woodward later claimed "People should know I suffered more than one abuser".[9]

In Manchester on 5 December 2016, Woodward was one of five abuse victims at the launch of an organisation, the Offside Trust, to support player victims of abuse and their families.[10][11] Initially a director of the Trust, Woodward resigned on 27 January 2017.[12][13]

In October 2017, Woodward criticised Football Association chairman Greg Clarke for 'humiliating' remarks Clarke made to a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing,[14][15] while the Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive Gordon Taylor said the PFA might sue Clarke over suggestions Taylor had not supported Woodward with further counselling.[16]

In December 2017, two men from Crewe were jailed for 'trolling' Woodward on social media.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Andy Woodward - Football Stats - No Club - Age 43 - 1992-2003 - Soccer Base".
  2. ^ Crisp, Marco (1998). Crewe Alexandra Match by Match. Tony Brown. p. 125. ISBN 1 899468 81 1.
  3. ^ "Games played by Andy Woodward in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  4. ^ Harling, Nicholas (30 August 2002). "Accused Woodward talks peace with angry Halifax". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b Taylor, Daniel (16 November 2016). "Andy Woodward: 'It was the softer, weaker boys he targeted'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  6. ^ Taylor, Daniel; James, Stuart (17 November 2016). "Associate of Barry Bennell also preyed on boys, two former footballers reveal". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Former footballer Andy Woodward tells of sexual abuse". BBC News. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  8. ^ Taylor, Daniel (19 November 2016). "Andy Woodward showed great courage – but is his story just the tip of the iceberg?". The Observer. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Andy Woodward says police interview delay over abuse claims is 'shocking'". BBC News. BBC. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Southampton 'abuser' still working in football". BBC News. BBC. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Sex abuse footballers 'want to be free of pain'". BBC News. BBC. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  12. ^ "The Offside Trust: Officers". Companies House. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Andy Woodward leaves Offside Trust but campaign gains momentum". Eurosport. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  14. ^ Rumbsy, Ben (25 October 2017). "Greg Clarke under fire again as abuse survivor Andy Woodward accuses FA chairman of 'humiliating' him". Telegraph. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Woodward 'devastated & deeply upset'". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  16. ^ Kelner, Martha (26 October 2017). "PFA's Gordon Taylor considering legal action against FA chairman Greg Clarke". Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  17. ^ Taylor, Daniel (15 December 2017). "Teenager jailed for trolling footballer Andy Woodward about abuse". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2017.