Vic Woodley

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Vic Woodley
Vic Woodley.jpg
0Full Name Victor Robert Woodley
0Date of Birth 26 February 1910
0Place of Birth Cippenham, Slough
0Position Goalkeeper
0Chelsea career 1931-1945
0Debut 29 August 1931
0Games (goals) 272 (0)
0Other clubs Windsor and Eton
Bath City
Derby County

Victor Robert Woodley (26 February 1910 – 23 October 1978) was an England international goalkeeper who played for Chelsea between 1931 and 1945. One of Chelsea's all time greatest goalkeepers, Woodley's sequence of nineteen England caps in succession was only terminated by the outbreak of the Second World War, a run in which he kept seven clean sheets.


Before Chelsea

At school, the young Vic was not particularly interested in football, however, when he left he was persuaded to help out between the sticks for his village team in Wiltshire. Signed on amateur terms by Reading he played one emergency game for their reserve side before being spotted for Chelsea while playing for Windsor and was signed on professional terms in the summer of 1931.

Chelsea career

Within weeks of his arrival at Stamford Bridge, he was pitchforked straight into the First Division due to an injury to first choice Sam Millington and he became a permanent fixture between the posts for the next fifteen years, despite competition from Johnny Jackson, Scotland's international goalkeeper. It was Woodley's consistency and safe handling that kept Chelsea in the First Division during difficult seasons for the club in the 1930s. He played a further 109 wartime games including a League South Cup Final against Charlton Athletic at Wembley in 1944, before apparently retiring from the top flight to Bath City.

After Chelsea

However in the early months of 1946, Derby County found themselves in need of an experienced goalkeeper and recruited Woodley to fill that gap. Within weeks he had crowned his career with an FA Cup winners medal, when the Rams beat Charlton Athletic at Wembley, before returning to play in the Southern League.


Season League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1931-32 7 0 0 0 7 0
1932-33 42 0 1 0 43 0
1933-34 36 0 5 0 41 0
1934-35 15 0 0 0 15 0
1935-36 32 0 5 0 37 0
1936-37 41 0 2 0 43 0
1937-38 40 0 1 0 41 0
1938-39 39 0 6 0 45 0
Total 252 0 20 0 272 0
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