When Horace Woodward left Spurs to serve in the Royal Navy during World War II, he departed as a centre-forward but would return as a centre-half!
Born in Islington on January 16, 1924, Horace had gone straight into our Junior side from school and played for us as an amateur from March, 1939. We sent him to Finchley in 1941 to continue his football education but he was already good enough to make his senior Spurs debut as a 17-year-old.
That was in September, 1941, as a striker at home to Queens Park Rangers in the London War League when we won 3-1. After returning to play for Finchley, he was called up and, while serving as a gunner, played regularly for the Navy where he converted to defence with great success.
On demob in May, 1946, he returned to White Hart Lane where he was immediately signed up as a full professional and made his Division Two debut at Newport County where we won 4-2 in September that year. Spurs manager Joe Hulme was impressed by Woodward’s defensive capabilities and opted to keep him at the back.
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