Tony Woodcock (footballer)

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Tony Woodcock
Personal information
Full name Anthony Stewart Woodcock
Date of birth (1955-12-06) 6 December 1955 (age 67)
Place of birth Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
Priory Celtic
Nottingham Forest
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1979 Nottingham Forest 129 (36)
1976Lincoln City (loan) 4 (1)
1977Doncaster Rovers (loan) 6 (2)
1979–1982 1. FC Köln 81 (28)
1982–1986 Arsenal 131 (56)
1986–1988 1. FC Köln 49 (11)
1988–1990 Fortuna Köln 37 (5)
Total 437 (139)
International career
1977–1978 England U21 2 (5)
1978–1986[2] England 42 (16)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Anthony Stewart Woodcock (born 6 December 1955) is an English retired international footballer who played professionally in both England and Germany as a striker for Nottingham Forest, FC Köln and Arsenal.[3] Woodcock won the European Cup (now known as the UEFA Champions League) in 1979 with Nottingham Forest.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, Woodcock had trained with Alan and Steve Buckley as a child, coached by their father, and had played for Priory Celtic.[4] He started his career at Nottingham Forest, signing a contract in January 1974.[5][6] After loan spells at Lincoln City and Doncaster Rovers, Woodcock broke into the Forest first team in 1976–77, helping the team to promotion to the First Division.[7] Woodcock would later credit the Lincoln move and the leadership of Graham Taylor as being instrumental to his development.[7] Under Brian Clough, Forest went on to win the First Division title and Football League Cup in 1978 with Woodcock winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award that year as well, and the European Cup in 1979.[8] He also scored in Forest's victory over Southampton in the 1979 Football League Cup Final.[9]

Move to the Bundesliga[edit]

Woodcock was signed by West German side FC Köln for a fee of £600,000 (equivalent to £3,230,000 in 2021),[7] in time for the 1979–80 season. He spent three seasons there. He scored 28 goals in 81 matches for the Cologne club.[1]


He returned home after the 1982 World Cup, signing for Terry Neill's Arsenal[8] for £500,000. Woodcock was Arsenal's top scorer for the next three seasons, his best tally being 21 in 1983–84; he hit five in a single game against Aston Villa, a post-war record for the club,[8] he also scored the final goal in the last British Home Championship. He helped Arsenal reach the semi-finals of both domestic cups in his first season, and remained in favour with new manager Don Howe, who was appointed in December 1983 following the dismissal of Terry Neill after a dismal first half of the season. He also contributed to a strong start to the 1984–85 season for the Gunners, which saw them top the league in the autumn of 1984.

However, he suffered a serious injury in March 1985, which disrupted his career. With the arrival of George Graham as Arsenal manager in May 1986, the 30-year-old Woodcock was told he was surplus to requirements.[8]

In all, Woodcock scored 68 goals in 169 matches for the Gunners.[8]

Return to Germany[edit]

Woodcock then returned to 1. FC Köln for a fee of "about £200,000".[10] During his second spell there, he made 49 appearances and scored 11 goals. He finished his career playing for Fortuna Köln, making 37 appearances and scoring five goals, before retiring from playing in 1990.[1]

International career[edit]

England U21[edit]

Woodcock made two appearances for the England U21s, scoring five goals; two of which came against Italy U21.[11]

Senior side[edit]

Woodcock was first called up to the full England squad for the match against Hungary.[12] He made his début for England in 1978 against Northern Ireland.[13] He would go on to win 42 caps for his country[8] (scoring 16 goals), and play in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He also played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers but was left out of the final squad.


Nottingham Forest



  1. ^ a b c "Karriere (Spieler)". Tony Woodcock (in German). Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Anthony Stewart 'Tony' Woodcock – International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  3. ^ "Career Stats – Tony Woodcock". Neil Brown.Newcastle
  4. ^ Collar, Mark (2013). Those Forest Men. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-291-34733-3.
  5. ^ "Tony Woodcock". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. ^ "The story of Tony Woodcock: An Englishman in Cologne". 1. FC Köln. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "LINCOLN SPELL TURNED ME AROUND... says Woodcock". New Sunday Times. Kuala Lumpur: New Straits Times Press. 19 February 1984. p. 16. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Gunners' Greatest Players – 48. Tony Woodcock". Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Notts defeat Southampton to retain Cup soccer title". The Gazette. Montreal. Associated Press. 19 March 1979. p. 25. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Woodcock for Cologne". New Sunday Times. Kuala Lumpur: New Straits Times Press. Reuters. 6 July 1986. p. 24. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Smith (pick) axes himself from Europe". The Herald. Glasgow. 5 May 1978. Back page. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Woodcock: England's only newcomer..." The Herald. Glasgow. 6 May 1978. Back page. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  13. ^ "England save their strength". The Herald. Glasgow. 16 May 1978. Back page. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  14. ^ Maidment, Jem (2006). The Official Arsenal Encyclopedia. London: Hamlyn. p. 148. ISBN 9780600615491.