Jonathan Simon Woodgate born 22 January 1980 is an English footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur as a defender. He has also played for Leeds United, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Real Madrid.

Woodgate began his career at Middlesbrough but moved to Leeds United at the age of sixteen after disagreements over his future between Middlesbrough and his family. He helped Leeds to win the FA Youth Cup in 1997, and in November the following year made his debut for the senior side.

In 2000, he was a defendant with teammate Lee Bowyer in a Crown Court trial due to his involvement in an incident outside Leeds nightclub Majestyk, in which a student suffered severe injuries. The initial trial collapsed,and following a second trial, in December 2001, Bowyer was cleared of charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and affray, while Woodgate was convicted of affray and sentenced to 100 hours' community service. He was also banned from international selection by the Football Association, which prevented him from being selected for the England squad for the 2002 World Cup.

Woodgate was a consistent and impressive performer for Leeds during his time there, competing with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Lucas Radebe and Dominic Matteo for a starting place. He was regarded as one of the most complete all round players to come through Leeds' famous academy. And he performed for Leeds in the days where they competed in the UEFA Cup, Champions League and were regularly competing towards the top of the Premier League. His number of appearances were heavily reduced due to picking up several injuries on different occasions. But as a result of Leeds' financial problems Woodgate was sold to Newcastle to raise some much needed funds. He was described as the club's 'jewel in the crown' and his sale caused anger for many Leeds United fans as Peter Ridsdale revealed the perilous financial situation at the club. The sale also led to the dismissal of Terry Venables who disagreed with Woodgate's departure.
Newcastle United

Woodgate signed for Newcastle United in January after impressing as a centre back for £9 million with add ons.He impressed and quickly became a fan favourite. One of his finest games came in Newcastle's 2004 Uefa Cup semi final clash with Marseille, completely nullifying the threat of their forward line and clinical forward Didier Drogba. Unfortunately for Newcastle, a serious injury saw him end his final season early, and could not feature in the second leg, where Newcastle were defeated 2-0 and knocked out. Woodgate never had an injury-free run in the team, but in the games he did play, was highly regarded and considered one of the best centre backs to play for Newcastle.

Woodgate signed for Real Madrid in August 2004 for a transfer fee of £13.4 million. This was to the surprise of many in the football world, due to his frequent absences through injury at his previous clubs, and indeed he was injured at the time of the transfer.

Woodgate did not make any appearances for Real Madrid in his first season in Spain, eventually making his debut on 22 September 2005, in a league match against Athletic Bilbao. The game didn't go very well for him, and he embarrassed himself scoring an own goal and was later sent off for a second bookable offence. However, his performances after the match meant that Woodgate was regarded for a period of his time at the club as something of a cult-hero. He scored his only goal for Real Madrid in the 4–1 UEFA Champions League defeat of Rosenborg BK on 19 October 2005, his first appearance for the club in European competition.

By February 2006, Woodgate had established himself as a first team player, with the other centre half position rotating among Sergio Ramos, Iván Helguera, Francisco Pavon and Álvaro Mejía. One Spanish newspaper even described him as having "become Madrid's true leader".However, further injury setbacks again stopped him playing. He was considered to have an outside chance of making the England squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but due to surgery on his back was not named in the squad.

In July 2007, Woodgate was voted the worst signing of the 21st century by users of the website of Spain's leading sports daily, Diario Marca, polling 37.11% of the votes cast.

On 30 August 2006, Woodgate signed a one-year loan move to hometown club Middlesbrough. He made his debut against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium on 9 September. He was later voted man of the match by local radio station, Century FM.In April 2007 Middlesbrough announced Woodgate would be their first summer signing for a fee of £7 million. He signed a four-year contract, keeping him at the club until June 2011.

In October 2007 he was crowned North East Player of the Year by the Prince's Trust, beating players from Newcastle and Sunderland. During the 2007–08 pre-season Woodgate suffered an injury that allowed fellow hometown defender David Wheater to start in his place during pre-season. Wheater's form in pre-season earened him a starting XI place for the opening day Premier League fixture – Wheater's form then continued which triggered the transfer of Woodgate to Tottenham Hotspur.

After rejecting the chance to re-sign for Newcastle, Woodgate moved to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £7 million on 28 January 2008. He made his Tottenham debut against Everton two days later and scored his first Tottenham goal on 24 February 2008 in the League Cup final against Chelsea in extra-time to win Tottenham their first trophy since 1999. His performance won him the Man of the Match award.

Woodgate scored his first Spurs league goal on 19 March 2008, coincidentally also against Chelsea, in a 4–4 draw at White Hart Lane. He first captained Tottenham in a 2–1 defeat at White Hart Lane to Aston Villa on 15 September. Following Harry Redknapp's appointment, Woodgate became the second vice-captain, behind Robbie Keane.

On Spurs' disastrous start to the 2008–09 season, Woodgate told the press that it was worse than when Leeds were relegated. Woodgate had been transferred to Newcastle United some 16 months before Leeds's eventual relegation at the end of 2003–04. Woodgate was a central part of the Spurs team as they recovered to finish eighth. However, Woodgate played just three times in Spurs highly successful 2009–10 campaign, after sucummbing to a long term groin injury. Harry Redknapp hinted at Woodgate's exit due to having to comply with new Premier League rules which limited squad sizes to 25 - ironically these rules were put in place in order to help the careers of English and Welsh footballers. Woodgate travelled to Australia to have surgery.

On Wednesday 19 January 2011, Woodgate played his first game in 14 months in a friendly match with QPR. The defender completed 45 minutes in a 9-2 victory at Spurs Lodge. Following this, on 15 February, a Champions League tie with AC Milan, he came on in the 59th minute for the injured Vedran Ćorluka. He played out the 90 minutes, however, was later diagnosed with a strain to his left adductor muscle.

He was capped several times by England while at Leeds United, making his debut for the national side under manager Kevin Keegan in 1999, when he became the first player born in the 1980s to win a full England cap, against Belgium. However, both his club and international career have frequently been interrupted, not only by injury, but by controversy.

Woodgate won his sixth cap – almost three years after his fifth – and his first start in an international friendly against Spain on 7 February 2007.
Natalie Downing

Jonathan Woodgate and Natalie Downing

Jonathan Woodgatein Totenham Hotspurs

Jonathan Woodgatein Totenham Hotspurs

Jonathan Woodgatein in Middlesbrough

Personal information
Full name Jonathan Simon Woodgate
Date of birth 22 January 1980 (1980-01-22)
Place of birth Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, England
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current club Tottenham Hotspur
Number 39
Youth career
1993–1996 Middlesbrough
1996–1998 Leeds United
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2003 Leeds United 103 (5)
2003–2004 Newcastle United 28 (0)
2004–2007 Real Madrid 9 (0)
2006–2007 → Middlesbrough (loan) 30 (0)
2007–2008 Middlesbrough 16 (0)
2008– Tottenham Hotspur 49 (2)
National team

England U21 1 (0)
1999–2008 England 8 (0)


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