Sir Clive Ronald Woodward (born 6 January 1956 in Ely) thought rugby and football were the same thing. He was wrong.
An affable fop with a mean, weaselish face, Woodward was a hero in the rugby world. The shiny-headed oval ball expert became a household name when he led England to glory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup despite hardly opening his eyes at any point.
However, the success seemed to go to Woodward’s head when he announced that ‘rugby is too easy, now I will conquer football.’
Amazingly, Woodward soon found a job with Southampton whose chairman Rupert Lowe wasn’t worried that Clive had never watched a whole game of football.
Lowe appointed Woodward as ‘performance director’. Clive, like everyone else didn’t really know what that meant.
Unsurprisingly, Woodward didn’t generate much respect from the manager at the time Harry Redknapp. After 40 years in the game, loveable wide man Harry had every right to wonder exactly what Woodward would be able to teach him.
The answer was nothing. Woodward watched in bemused silence for several months, occasionally calling for a player to ‘ruck him or ‘take the ball into contact.’
After a few months, Woodward left Southampton. These days, Sir Cilve has some cushy Olympic job while the Saints are on the brink of financial oblivion.