Ben Woodburn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn.jpg
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Woodburn[1]
Date of birth (1999-10-15) 15 October 1999 (age 19)[2]
Place of birth Nottingham, England[3]
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.74 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Sheffield United
(on loan from Liverpool)
Number 11
Youth career
2007–2016 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016– Liverpool 6 (0)
2018–Sheffield United (loan) 7 (0)
National team
2014 Wales U15 2 (0)
2015 Wales U16 1 (3)
2014–2016 Wales U17 8 (1)
2016– Wales U19 4 (2)
2017– Wales 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:15, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:00, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Benjamin Woodburn (born 15 October 1999) is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a forward for Sheffield United, on loan from Premier League club Liverpool, and for the Wales national team.

Woodburn became Liverpool's third-youngest player in history upon making his senior debut in November 2016 and the club's youngest-ever goalscorer in his second appearance. He is also Wales' second-youngest-ever goalscorer behind Gareth Bale, having netted on his senior debut at the age of 17 in September 2017.

Club career[edit]


Early career[edit]

Born in Nottingham, Woodburn was raised in Tattenhall, Cheshire and played both cricket and football from a young age.[4][5][6] He joined Liverpool's academy at under-7 level where he steadily progressed through the youth ranks, leading to former academy director Frank McParland identifying him as one of the brightest prospects at the club.[7][5] During his schooling, Liverpool agreed to a request from Woodburn's parents that he should stay at home rather than in Rainhill, which was closer to the academy in Kirkby. In order to facilitate his development, the club arranged for a driver to transport him every day from training back to his home in Tattenhall.[8] When he was 15 years old, Woodburn was fast-tracked from Liverpool's under-16s to the under-18s and his rapid development saw him included in Liverpool's "Futures Group", a programme which afforded the club's most talented young players a weekly opportunity to train with then first-team coach, Pep Lijnders.[9]

2016–17 season[edit]

Having impressed first-team manager Jürgen Klopp during these training sessions, Woodburn was handed his non-competitive debut during the 2016–17 pre-season in a 1–0 win over Tranmere Rovers.[10] He came off the bench in Liverpool's next match to score one and assist another for Roberto Firmino in a 5–0 friendly win over Fleetwood Town.[11] Woodburn then, along with Kevin Stewart and fellow academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold, signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on 8 November 2016.[12]

He made his senior debut for Liverpool on 26 November, coming on as a 92nd-minute substitute for Georginio Wijnaldum in a 2–0 Premier League victory over Sunderland.[13] Upon doing so, Woodburn became Liverpool's third-youngest debutant of all time at the age of 17 years and 42 days, and the club's second-youngest-ever in the Premier League, behind Jack Robinson.[14] Three days later, he became Liverpool's youngest-ever goalscorer at the age of 17 years and 45 days when he came off the bench to score in an EFL Cup quarter-final win over Leeds United, bettering Michael Owen's record by 98 days.[15][16][17] Following his rapid development at Liverpool, both Sky Sports and The Guardian named Woodburn as one of the top young players to watch in 2017.[18][19]

He made his full debut for the club on 8 January 2017, starting in a 0–0 FA Cup draw with Plymouth Argyle.[20] His first start in the league followed on 4 April in a 2–1 away triumph over Stoke City which saw him become the third-youngest player to start for Liverpool in the Premier League era behind Owen and Jordon Ibe.[21][22][23] The following week he was nominated for the 2017 European Golden Boy award, but was beaten by French forward, Kylian Mbappé.[24][25] On 9 May, Woodburn won Liverpool's Academy Player of the Season award following a campaign which saw him score eight goals in Premier League 2 and break into the first team.[26][27] He was also later nominated for the Premier League 2 Player of the Season award alongside Alexander-Arnold, though the award was ultimately won by Swansea City's Oliver McBurnie.[28][29]

2017–18 season[edit]

The following season, Liverpool's academy coach Steven Gerrard named Woodburn as captain of the under-19 side for the club's UEFA Youth League campaign, a competition which ran parallel to the season's UEFA Champions League.[30] He made just one senior appearance, as a substitute, during the first half of the season but signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool in October and was named BBC Wales Young Sportsman of the Year in December.[31][32][33]

Woodburn continued to represent the youth and reserve sides at the start of the second half of the season. On 21 February 2018, he scored once and assisted another as Liverpool beat Manchester United's U19 side 2–0 to qualify for the quarter finals of the UEFA Youth League.[34] There, the club was eliminated by Manchester City.[35] He made his second and only other senior appearance for the season on 13 May, coming on as a late substitute for Mohamed Salah in a 4–0 league win over Brighton.[36] On 1 July, he and club teammates Alexander-Arnold and Herbie Kane were named on the shortlist for the 2018 Golden Boy award.[37]

2018–19 season: Loan to Sheffield United[edit]

On 31 July 2018, Woodburn signed on a season-long loan with Championship side, Sheffield United.[38] He made his debut for the club four days later, coming off the bench for David McGoldrick in a 2–1 loss to Swansea.[39] His first start followed on 14 August in a League Cup tie against Hull City where, with the scores level after regulation time, the match progressed to a penalty shootout. Woodburn converted his spot kick but Sheffield were ultimately defeated after his former Liverpool teammate Stewart scored the winning penalty for Hull.[40]

International career[edit]

Prior to making his senior international debut, Woodburn was eligible to represent both Wales, through his maternal grandfather, and England.[41] During his early teens he attended a training camp with the England schoolboys' team and was later offered an under-16 call-up by England in August 2014. He rejected the call-up and chose to remain in the Wales setup at the time.[41][42] After his club debut with Liverpool in November 2016, it was reported that England remained hopeful of convincing Woodburn to switch his international allegiance despite previously being rebuffed. The possibility was ended in September the following year when he made his senior international debut for Wales in a competitive fixture.[43][44]


Woodburn has played for Wales up to U19 level and was first called up to train at one of the nation's regional development centres at Dragon Park when he was 13.[45] He played for Wales U15s in two games against Poland in March 2014, scored a hat-trick for the U16 side against Northern Ireland the following year and then captained the U17 team against Greece in 2016.[9][41][46] Later that year, he represented the U19 side in their UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification matches and scored a brace in a 6–2 win over Luxembourg.[47]


On 16 March 2017, Woodburn was called up by head coach Chris Coleman to the Wales senior team for the first time, aged 17, for the nation's World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland.[5] He remained an unused substitute, however, as Wales played out a 0–0 draw in Dublin.[48] He made his senior debut on 2 September, coming on as a second-half substitute for Tom Lawrence and scoring a 25-yard strike in a 1–0 win against Austria.[49][50] In doing so, he became Wales' second-youngest-ever goalscorer behind Gareth Bale and kept the nation within reach of qualification. Woodburn featured regularly from the bench towards the back end of the qualification campaign as Wales ultimately fell two points short of a play-off spot.[51][52] He then made his first start on 14 November in a 1–1 friendly draw with Panama.[53]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 3 November 2018[54]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Liverpool 2016–17 Premier League 5 0 3 0 1 1 9 1
2017–18 Premier League 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
Sheffield United (loan) 2018–19 Championship 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
Career total 13 0 3 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 19 1


As of match played 20 November 2018[54]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Wales 2017 6 1
2018 3 0
Total 9 1

International goals[edit]

As of match played 14 November 2017

Wales score listed first, score column indicates score after each Woodburn goal.[54]

International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 2 September 2017 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 1  Austria 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification






  1. ^ "Squads for 2016/17 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Ben Woodburn". Premier League. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. ^ "58 Ben Woodburn". Liverpool. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Ben Woodburn". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c James, Stuart (16 March 2017). "Chris Coleman denies trying to tie wonderkid Ben Woodburn to Wales". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. ^ Triggs, David (30 November 2016). "Who is Ben Woodburn? The Tattenhall teenager who became a Liverpool FC record-breaker". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  7. ^ Mundy, Ben (30 November 2016). "Who is Liverpool record-breaker Ben Woodburn?". Newsbeat. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  8. ^ Hughes, Simon (30 November 2016). "Liverpool vs Leeds match report: Ben Woodburn enjoys night to remember but Garry Monk's men go down fighting". The Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b Pearce, James (28 January 2016). "Who is Liverpool FC teenager Ben Woodburn?". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  10. ^ Twelves, Ben (8 July 2016). "Tranmere Rovers 0–1 Liverpool: 5 things we learned from the pre-season opener". This is Anfield. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Ruthless Reds Crush Fleetwood". Soccer Laduma. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  12. ^ Carroll, James (8 November 2016). "Trio commit long-term futures to LFC by signing new deals". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Liverpool fend off Sunderland but suffer Philippe Coutinho blow". Eurosport. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  14. ^ Gorst, Paul (26 November 2016). "Ben Woodburn becomes the third youngest player in Liverpool's history after making debut against Sunderland". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  15. ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (29 November 2016). "Liverpool 2–0 Leeds United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  16. ^ Hunter, Andy (29 November 2016). "Ben Woodburn sets record as Liverpool break Leeds to reach EFL Cup last four". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  17. ^ a b Carroll, James (29 November 2016). "Liverpool FC's youngest ever first-team goalscorers". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  18. ^ Bate, Adam; Wright, Nick (28 December 2016). "Ben Woodburn among five Premier League youngsters to watch in 2017". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  19. ^ Ames, Nick; Miller, Nick (28 December 2016). "Rising stars: 10 players to watch in 2017". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Klopp's decision to field youngest ever side backfires". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  21. ^ Markham, Carl (8 April 2017). "Firmino and Coutinho rescue Liverpool and see off Stoke for crucial win in top four race". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  22. ^ "3 – At 17 years & 175 days, Ben Woodburn is the 3rd youngest player to start a PL game for @LFC behind Jordon Ibe and Michael Owen. Prospect". Twitter. OptaJoe. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  23. ^ Staunton, Peter (8 April 2017). "Not sick and tired any more! Coutinho and Firmino rouse Liverpool". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  24. ^ Lusby, Jack (11 April 2017). "Ben Woodburn listed for prestigious European award for 2017". This is Anfield. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Golden Boy 2017: Kylian Mbappé beats Dembélé and Rashford to award". Guardian. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  26. ^ a b Doyle, Ian (9 May 2017). "The 2017 Liverpool Players' Awards – Relive coverage of the end-of-season event at Anfield". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  27. ^ Mitchelman, Ian (10 May 2017). "Wales wonderkid Ben Woodburn wins Liverpool FC academy award". WalesOnline. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  28. ^ Doyle, Ian (20 May 2017). "Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn up for award – but where's Harry Wilson?". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  29. ^ "McBurnie named PL2 Player of the Season". Premier League. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  30. ^ Pearce, James (19 October 2017). "Steven Gerrard on making Ben Woodburn his captain". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  31. ^ Johns, Craig (5 January 2018). "Who is Ben Woodburn? A closer look at the Liverpool prospect Sunderland want on loan". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  32. ^ "Ben Woodburn: Liverpool striker signs long-term deal with the club". BBC Sport. 25 October 2017.
  33. ^ a b "BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2017: Jonathan Davies wins award". BBC. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  34. ^ Wilkinson, Jack (21 February 2018). "Liverpool 2–0 Manchester United: Ben Woodburn inspires Reds in UEFA Youth League". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  35. ^ Price, Glenn (14 March 2018). "Steven Gerrard's Liverpool U19s knocked out of UEFA Youth League by Man City". ESPN. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  36. ^ Gorst, Paul; Carroll, Sam (13 May 2018). "Liverpool vs Brighton LIVE - Anfield rout fires Reds back into Champions League as season ends with win". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  37. ^ Williams, Sam (1 July 2018). "Liverpool trio nominated for 2018 Golden Boy award". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  38. ^ Carroll, James (1 August 2018). "Ben Woodburn joins Sheffield United on loan". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  39. ^ Gorst, Paul (5 August 2018). "Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn's big day ruined by former Reds team-mate's instant impact". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  40. ^ Shield, James (14 August 2018). "Match Report: Sheffield United exit the Carabao Cup as Hull City progress on penalties". The Star. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  41. ^ a b c Wathan, Chris (30 November 2016). "What makes English-born Ben Woodburn Welsh? The Liverpool FC star's complicated situation fully explained". WalesOnline. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  42. ^ Taylor, Daniel (27 March 2017). "Gareth Southgate wanted Wilfried Zaha for England role but was too late". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  43. ^ Pearce, James (29 November 2016). "England hoping Liverpool hero Ben Woodburn will switch international allegiance". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  44. ^ Bascombe, Chris (2 September 2017). "Wales 1 Austria 0: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn comes off bench to fire priceless debut winner". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  45. ^ Jones, Mark (23 March 2017). "Liverpool star Ben Woodburn's 'choice' to play for Wales, NOT England, shows how Welsh football is thriving". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Wales U16 win Final Development Match". Football Association of Wales. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  47. ^ "Ben Woodburn: Liverpool youngster inspired by Gareth Bale & Aaron Ramsey". BBC Sport. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  48. ^ Malam, Charlie (24 March 2017). "Liverpool FC international round-up: Alexander-Arnold nets a brace as England U19s seal qualification". Vavel. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  49. ^ "Wales 1–0 Austria". BBC Sport. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  50. ^ MacInnes, Paul (2 September 2017). "Ben Woodburn's debut scorcher gives Wales vital victory against Austria". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  51. ^ Dorman, Matt (3 September 2017). "Liverpool news: Ben Woodburn 'won't sleep' after stunning goal on debut". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  52. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (10 October 2017). "Wales fail to qualify for 2018 World Cup: What next for Chris Coleman's side?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  53. ^ "Wales pegged back by Panama as Cardiff crowd show support for Chris Coleman". Times & Star. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  54. ^ a b c "Ben Woodburn". Soccerway. Retrieved 26 November 2016.

External links[edit]