Vivian Woodward (1879-1954), amateur footballer

From: Bill Jarvis
by email

Vivian Woodward

Vivian Woodward

My grandmother’s brother, Vivian Woodward, was born in Lambeth and moved to Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, as a small child. He became a footballer, and has been described as the “David Beckham of 100 years ago”, with many great achievements: records lasting until the 1950s for England international caps, goals and hat-tricks. He also captained the Great Britain team to Olympic Gold in the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games. A hundred years later those games are now regarded in FIFA and elsewhere as the forerunner of the World Cup.

He did all this as an amateur, working as an architect at the family practice in South London. An excellent biography has been written by Norman Jacobs (Vivian Woodward: Football’s Gentleman, 2005), and his achievements are on record. However, not much is known about his later years. My mother took me to visit him at a retirement home in Ealing in the early 50s, but my memory is faint because I was a small boy at the time.

I know he was an ARP warden during the war at the renowned Bellenden Road Depot. I would be very grateful to get in touch with someone who recalls Vivian Woodward at that time or who knows about the history of the Depot.