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First, best and worst moments: Chris Woods

5 June 2018

Carrow Road has been home to a host of the best goalkeepers in the country over the last few decades, with many having gone on to become legends at Norwich City.

A select few have gone on to showcase their skills on the international stage and between the 1980s and 1990s, Chris Woods became one of England's most reliable stoppers.

The Lincolnshire-born goalkeeper started his City career in 1981 and went on to make over 250 appearances for the Canaries before leaving in 1986.

He was included in the England squads for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and the 1990 World Cup in Italy, although he didn't make an appearance at either tournament, instead acting as an understudy to the iconic Peter Shilton.

With the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the horizon, we take a look back at an interview with Woods from an edition of this year's OTBC, as he remembers his first, best and worst moments at Carrow Road...

FIRST

Game…. I think it was Wolves away at Molineux. I was on loan and I think I actually saved a penalty but we ended up losing by some scoreline which I cannot remember. It wasn’t a bad way to announce myself though.

Day… I always remember walking down the side of Carrow Road and Josh Fashanu walking past with an umbrella in his hand when it was sunny and he asked me what I was doing there - he wasn’t even in the first team then!

Time you knew you had made it at Norwich… I remember being there for about ten games at the end of the season before I signed permanently. I’d given my word to Ken Brown that I wanted to sign after my loan spell as well and I’d like to have thought I’d make a decent enough impression and the fans had got behind me.

Nickname… I think throughout my career, people have always called me Woodsy. I suppose if I let a goal in, I’d have been called a lot worse!

Sporting hero… I used to look at the likes of Charlie Cooke, Ian Hutchinson – people like that. I used to be a big Chelsea fan as lad, even though I came from Boston in Lincolnshire. Why I chose Chelsea, I don’t know. I presumed it was because of watching Match of the Day and watching Charlie Cooke dribble past people with ease.

BEST

Feeling on a pitch for Norwich… Obviously, every time you keep a clean sheet or make a good save to keep the team in the game but the main moment for me was winning the Milk Cup in 1985, a game where Clive Walker hit the post from a penalty. There wasn’t a lot for me to do during the game and I remember there being an interview after the game and someone saying I would have saved it if the penalty hadn’t of hit the post. I honestly believe that I would have done. It was great day out for the players, the club and the fans. It’s something that I look back on with huge pride and honour.

Game… That’s difficult to say. I’d like to think I’d have had quite a few. I think I won save of the season either in 1983 or 1984, saving a strike by David Moss from Luton Town. It’s tough to pinpoint one game, I remember making lots of saves to keep the team in a game but I can’t pick one out.

Player you played against… Either Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Bryan Robson. You can pick out any of the top players of that era, they were all tough to come up against. I remember picking the ball out of my net a number of times from Kenny Dalglish. They were all top, top players.

Player you played with… We were fortunate to have lots of really good players. There was Steve Bruce, Dave Watson, Mick Channon was also there – to pick one out of those is very difficult but if I was to be pushed for an answer then I would say Steve Bruce.

Friend… There’s a few. When we see each other, we always have remained friends. I lived next to Steve Bruce when I was at Norwich and we got on well. I was just round the corner from Dave Watson and I still speak to Peter Mendham and Mark Barham. I saw Mick Channon in Dubai recently and it’s great that I can see them all and still talk about the good times we had together as a team.

WORST

Telling off from a manager… We played Blackburn away once and I got a bit of a rollicking but I’m not sure if that was the worst one. You tend to forget the negative moments. I think the worst one would have to be training the day before a game and I’ve played a ball that was supposedly too hard and I was sent in from training. If that’s the worst thing, then it’s not that bad.

Away trip… To be fair, I think every away trip from Norwich is a long trip. Any time you get beat, it’s a long way back home. Nobody likes getting beat, full stop, and some journeys were very hard.

Feeling on the pitch… I think in general, it’s saving a goal that you think you really should have saved. I remember a mix-up with Ian Culverhouse on an evening game and the ball ended up in the net. There’s nothing worse than that, and unfortunately as a goalkeeper, if you do make a mistake, nine times out of ten the ball ends up in the back of the net.

Thing to do in training… What I didn’t enjoy was being made to run with the outfield players because, in this day and age, goalkeepers do not run!

 


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