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 Post subject: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - SIMON WOODHEAD
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Location: that would be telling
Mansfield Town had come close to winning promotion to Division 2 a couple of times in the 50's and 60's and finally got there in 1977. They lasted only one season, though they did have their moments, including holding Tottenham Hotspur to draws, home and away. I game ended 3-3 with Dave Syrett hitting a hat trick for Mansfield and Glenn Hoddle scoring twice for Spurs. Mansfield were relegated again in 1980 and for the 1980-81 season, former Peterborough defender Mick Jones was in charge. Mansfield ended the season in 7th place and used only 21 players. The 21st player they used was an 18 year old from Dewsbury called Simon Woodhead, who came on as a sub for Brian Thomson in the last game of the season v Doncaster Rovers. Billy Bremner, managing Donny, had the same as idea and used this last match to give debuts to Glen Humphries and Russ Wilcox. Playing for Mansfield at this time was John McClelland, who became the first Mansfield player to play for his country when he played for Northern Ireland v Scotland in 1980. In the summer of 1981, McClelland joined Rangers, later playing for Watford and Leeds.

For the 1981-82 season, Mick Jones had been replaced by a former Mansfield player Stuart Boam, who had been Middlesbrough's captain when Jack Charlton's side won the Division 2 title, Boam later played for Newcastle. Boam initially played himself in McClelland's place but soon replaced himself with Adrian Burrows. Boam used his north east connections to bring former Newcastle players like Paul Cannell and Gary Nicholson. Mansfield finished 20th, but used only 19 players, Simon Woodhead playing in 13 games.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - SIMON WOODHEAD
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:56 pm 
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In 1982-83, Boam signed Keith Kennedy (brother of Liverpool's Alan), Billy Ayre, Alan Waddle (cousin of Chris) and John Dungworth. Boam was replaced in January by former Huddersfield boss Ian Greaves and Mansfield finished 10th. Simon played in 44 games, mainly at right back or right wing. Dungworth, who later played for OTFC, was top scorer with 19. A future Scottish International Colin Calderwood made his debut this season.

For the 1983-84 season, Greaves brought in former Leicester & England right back, Steve Whitworth; former Arsenal midfielder John Matthews and former Barnsley winger Stewart Barrowclough. Later he signed former Tottenham keeper Barry Daines to replace the long serving Rod Arnold. Another future Scotland cap, Mick Galloway also joined Mansfield this season. Mansfield finished 19th, Simon played 47 games in all, mainly at right or left back.

Greaves continued to bring in new players. for the 1984-85 season, Kevin Hitchcock arrived from Nottingham Forest, Noel Luke from West Bromwich Albion, Mick Vinter and Neil Whatmore from Oxford United and David Logan from Whitby Town. Simon played 29 games in all, in various positions including forward. His last game was a 2-1 win over Halifax Town, managed by former Mansfield boss Mick Jones. Mansfield finished 14th and reached the northern final of the Freight Rover Trophy, losing to Wigan Athletic.

In all, Simon played 134 games for Mansfield Town scoring 6 goals.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - SIMON WOODHEAD
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:18 pm 
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In the summer of 1985, Simon joined Crewe Alexandra, managed by Dario Gradi and already showing the signs of their policy to recruit junior players and talented youngsters out of non league football or released from the bigger clubs. One player at Crewe already was David Platt, later to play for Arsenal and England. Simon was sat on the subs bench for the first few games without being called into action. I'm not sure when he left Crewe or where he went next, it appears he may have been at Burnley and Scunthorpe United, though that might have just been for trials.

Simon then dropped into non league football, first with Shepshed Charterhouse in the Southern League, then had a few years with Frickley Athletic after their relegation from the Conference in 1987. In 1992, Altrincham appointed former Emley boss Gerry Quinn as their new manager. Gerry recruited a number of Yorkshire players, including Simon Woodhead and former OTFC player Charlie Bradshaw. Clive Freeman also arrived after his earlier spell at Swansea. After a couple of indifferent seasons at Alty, Simon moved onto Gainsborough Trinity, other Dewsbury players at Gainsborough at this time were Gary Brook and former OTFC left back Paul Watson. Brooky took over as player manager at Gainsborough and eventually he joins Boston United, Watto returned to OTFC and Simon then moves onto Bradford Park Avenue and then Farsley Celtic.

He was 36 when he arrived at Ossett Town, though with his steely grey hair he looks older. He tended to come on as a sub in the second half and play in an attacking right wing role, making driving runs into the penalty area. He was by this stage working as a policeman in Bradford, frequently working nights, so a common sight on our away days on a Saturday was Simon getting on the bus at Hartshead and trying to get a seat to himself to kip down for an hour or so.

I think he had left us by the time of the riots of 2001, a bizarre dispute over a picture of an owl on the front of the Oldham newspaper seems to have escalated into a conflagration on both sides of the pennines. In some cultures, owls are seen as symbols of the devil, even though Oldham's name is clearly based on the owl. Anyhow, Bradford erupted big style one Saturday, West Yorkshire Police called in support from Northumbria and Merseyside and by the end of the night the Home Office had given WYP permission to open fire with rubber bullets, though the riots quietened down after that was announced. WYP were that stretched even their driving instructors from Crofton were given riot shields and sent into the front line. A relative of mine who was a civilian worker with WYP was called in Sunday morning to help cover the phones because the WYP phone staff were shattered after being on duty all night.

I was working in Dewsbury at the time so as you can imagine, I was hearing all sorts of stuff, though an attempt to transfer some of us to one of our offices in Bradford was met by a straight and to the point "go **** yourself" :mrgreen:

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