Clive Woods – Town’s wing wizard who notched one of the best-ever Town goals
A wing wizard and a big Town favourite who scored one of Town’s best-ever goals in MIKE BACON’S opinion. It’s Clive Woods.
I wasn’t very old. And it was a school night.
But I can still remember to this day dancing around the living room – much to my dad’s disgust (not a football fan, who thought I should be in bed), and my mum’s delight (a big Town fan – ‘OK just this once you can stay up’), as Clive Woods’ ‘curler’ beat Leeds at Filbert Street in a fourth take of the two club’s FA Cup sixth round tie in 1975.
Yes, me and mum sat there listening to ‘Sport On 2’ as Woods’ brilliant winner put Town into the semi-finals that year after a 3-2 win over the Yorkshire giants.
Back in 1975 it took four games to decide that one last eight tie – Jurgen and Pep would choke on their claret at the mere thought.
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Still, back then players and fans just got on with it.
Clive Woods – what an underrated key member he was of Bobby Robson’s side through the 1970s. He was a bit like Paul Cooper, the goalkeeper.
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They were surrounded by international team-mates and no doubt felt pretty lonely at Portman Road during international weeks with most of the Ipswich squad away training with their various countries.
But they were both priceless pieces in Robson’s squad.
Signed in 1969 Woods, a Norfolk-born winger, was exactly what it says on the tin – a winger par excellence.
Yes, he worked hard, up and down the left flank especially, but it was his silky skills on the ball, his jinking runs past flummoxed full-backs that were pure gold – and Town fans loved him for it.
He was two-footed and a match winner on his day.
Time after time he supplied crosses for the likes of David Johnson, Trevor Whymark and Paul Mariner to power home.
THAT goal THAT night at Filbert Street against Leeds was the highlight of his time at Ipswich for me.
When I did get to see it on TV it was all I had imagined at the time. Woods cutting in and curling a terrific 20-yard goal into the top corner.
One of the greatest-ever Town goals? It’s up there.
It was just a shame it didn’t lead to FA Cup glory that year as Town were beaten by West Ham in the semi-finals.
But Town’s time would come three years later and Woods would be an integral part of it.
He only actually played 267 times for Town in a decade spell at the club but he made a huge impression, before heading back to Norfolk to play 37 times for Norwich City.
Ironically, almost 15 years after I sat as a little’un listening to Woods’ winner against Leeds on my radio that school night, I actually played against him in a pre-season friendly for my then Suffolk & Ipswich League club BS Fonnereau.
We travelled to Newton Flotman, just over the Norfolk border, for the game and I remember being amazed to see him not just in the flesh, but in action against us.
I remember him excelling that day too, although not out on the wing. He was bossing it around from midfield.
Playing on the same pitch as an Ipswich Town player who had given me and thousands of others such wonderful memories was a treat.
Little did I realise it wouldn’t be the last time I would grace a football pitch with one of my former Ipswich Town heroes..... I’ll recount the story of playing up front alongside a certain Johnny Wark another day!
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