Norwich City top 100 appearances: Chris Woods (30)
267 appearances/no goals
Norwich City has a tradition of great goalkeepers. The names roll off the tongue: Ken Nethercott, Sandy Kennon, Kevin Keelan, Bryan Gunn – and Chris Woods.
Of all his appearances for City, a stunning 170 came consecutively, as he pulled on the number one shirt for every game from 1981 to 1984.
Woods’ first club was Nottingham Forest – he made his debut for them in the 1978 League Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley, where the game ended goalless, and for the replay at Old Trafford, which Forest won 1-0 – all before he had played in the league.
He had replaced the cup-tied Peter Shilton who, otherwise, didn’t give Woods a look-in – a problem that would affect his international career – so he moved to Queens Park Rangers in 1979. Two seasons later he headed to Norfolk, signed by Ken Brown for £225,000.
It was a move that was the making of him – in 1985 he picked up another League Cup winners’ medal as City beat Sunderland at Wembley – although he had to survive a scare when he faced a penalty, only for Clive Walker to hit a post with his spot-kick.
City went down the same season, but Woods had caught the eye of then England boss Bobby Robson and his international career was launched – he went on to win 43 caps. It might have been more had it not been for Shilton, again.
More silverware was added to the Woods trophy cabinet as City returned to the top flight as Second Division champions at the first attempt, but in 1986 he joined Graeme Souness’ revolution at Glasgow Rangers for £600,000.
He made 173 appearances for Rangers, headed south to Sheffield Wednesday in 1991, had a loan spell at Reading then crossed the Atlantic to play for Colorado Rapids. Spells at Southampton, Sunderland and Burnley followed, before Woods retired in 1998.
He moved into coaching at Everton in 1998, and also coached the US men’s team, but in July 2013 followed David Moyes to Manchester United. When Moyes left, Woods followed, focussing on the US team until he joined West Ham’s coaching team two years ago.
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