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Dan Woodards Trophy Cabinet

Glass Shelftop
taddy044 - Woodards

'Dapper Dan'

Born in East Ham in 1886. Woodards footballing journey began in local junior football, playing for Plashet Lane School when they won the East Ham Shield and, in 1904, joined East Ham Excelsior before moving on to St. Ethelburgas.

His early association with West Ham United came as a 17-year-old. However, lost playing records from this period were sketchy, his first recorded appearance was playing for the reserves Southern League (Division Two) side against Portsmouth Reserves at Fratton Park on 23 December 1905.

Woodards' first team debut was against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Goldstone Ground on 23 March 1907 when he replaced the injured Tommy Allison in the Southern League (Division One) fixture. His senior opportunities at the Boleyn Ground were restricted to just three appearances in little over a year which prompted his transfer to fellow Southern League side Hastings & St Leonards United in the summer of 1908.

Woodards south coast adventure was short-lived, with dwindling attendances and mounting debt the East Sussex club was dissolved at the end of the 1909-10 season.

In the summer of 1910, West Ham welcomed their former player back to east London to continue his professional career.

An outstanding wing-half at the height of his career, he acquired the nickname of 'Dapper Dan' and 'Beau Brummell' because of his smartly-groomed appearance. Dan also had an unusual habit of always clapping his hands before heading the ball.

He was still on the Boleyn Ground books when the Hammers were elected into the Football League at the end of the First World War and went on to record 197 appearances in claret and blue, scoring 3 goals, his first against Bristol Rovers in the 6-2 win at home on 23 March 1912.

Towards the end of his Upton Park tenure Dan was made captain of the Football Combination side. It took a cartilage injury to finally force the 35-year-old to hang up his boots at the end of the 1921-22 campaign, he later went on to take up a coaching role with the Hammers.


Born: 18 November 1886, East Ham, London

West Ham United Career: 1906-1908 & 1910-1921

Appearances: 139 (excluding war-time games)

Goals: 3

Inter-League (1 cap) London League v. London Combination

Died: 14 December 1964, Hillingdon, London (aged 78)


Hastings & St. Leonards United and West Ham United


London Professional Charity Fund

Glass Shelftop

Leyton v. West Ham United

Hare and Hounds

31 October 1910

1910 London Professional Charity Fund

Kitchen, Lavery, Fairman, Whiteman, Woodards, Randall, Ashton, Shea, Webb, Butcher, Caldwell

(3-1 : Webb 2, Shea)


London Professional Charity Fund


Margery Hall

This photograph was taken in the rear garden of "Margery Hall" in Margery Park Road, Forest Gate, home to West Ham United Director George Hone.

The players used to have practice sessions in the park at the end of the road and then go back to the house for tea.

Glass Shelftop

London Professional Charity Fund

West Ham United v. Arsenal

Boleyn Ground

27 October 1913

1913 Charity Fund
Glass Shelftop

Hughes, Rothwell, Irvine, Woodards, Askew, Randall, Ashton, Hilsdon, Leafe, Denyer A., Casey

(3-2 : Hilsdon 2, Ashton)


London Professional Charity Fund


London Professional Charity Fund

Millwall Athletic v. West Ham United

The Den

14 April 1920

This London Professional Charity Fund fixture against 'The Lions' was originally played on October 20, 1919. With the score locked a 3-3 after 90 minutes play, The match was abandoned 15 minutes into extra time due to fog, the Hammers were winning 4-3 when the game was halted.

London Professional Charity Fund
Glass Shelftop

Hufton, Lee, Burton, Tresadern, Woodards, McCrae, Leafe, Bailey, Puddefoot, Butcher, Smith S.

(3-1 : Leafe 2, Bailey)


London Professional Charity Fund

South Bank - Bomb damage
WOODARDS D Postcard 1912-13
Glass Shelftop
WOODARDS Dan - Groundsman 01
WOODARDS Dan - Groundsman 02

In later years Dan Woodards continued to serve West Ham United as their groundsman. During the Second World War, in August 1944, he was, in fact, the only person in the Boleyn Ground when a German V1 rocket landed in the south-west corner and caused a huge crater on the field and removed a good deal of cover at that end of the ground.

Woodards was badly shaken by the blast and indignant at the damage done to his finely manicured playing surface. Despite the massive handicap West Ham had to play the first half of the campaign in exile with all their matches taking place away from home while emergency repairs were carried out, but amazingly, won nine consecutive matches, then lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on their return to the Boleyn Ground in December - despite Dan's hard efforts to restore the coveted pitch to its former glory.


Special thanks to Robert and Simon Woodards, two generations of the Woodards family in helping comply this trophy cabinet feature

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