The Story of Vivian Woodward
In his first game for England in 1902
To celebrate the two goals he scored.
His proud brother sent him a telegram
Amongst the hundreds of tributes that poured.
Vivian played for Tottenham Hotspurs
Between the years 1903 and 1909.
Gaining them a place in the Football League,
Playing himself, for England, more times.
A proud year for Vivian was 1908
When a well-earned gold medal was claimed.
He was captain of the winning team,
At London’s first Olympic Games.
In 1909, with a great career,
Admiration and fame stretching far.
Deciding to sign for another club,
He joined Chelsea and became their new star.
At the Stockholm Olympics in 1912,
Vivian carried the British flag.
Winning for England another gold,
Putting victory now in the bag.
Vivian played in the first Chelsea team,
To beat Aston Villa in 1913.
So, whenever he was free to play,
He was first choice for the team.
Vivian joined the Middlesex Regiment,
When war broke out in 1914.
Known as the ‘Footballer’s Battalion’,
Nicknamed ‘Diehards, a footballers dream.
The ‘Diehard’ squad grew bigger,
Joining Vivian in the team.
Among them was his friend Walter Tull,
One of the first black footballers in Britain he’d been.
Vivian, now an officer in the army,
It’s the year of 1915,
Was later followed by his friend Walter Tull,
The first black Officer the British Army had seen.
April 1915, an historic date,
Chelsea’s playing was quite sublime.
A chance to win football’s most coveted prize
The F.A. cup, in the final, first time.
With leave arranged from the army,
Vivian unselfishly and full of good grace,
Dropped from the final against Sheffield United
For a teammate to win a medal in his place.
Just shortly after the final,
Vivian’s last game at Chelsea was seen.
He was sent to fight at the front in France,
Seriously wounded in 1916.
For Chelsea and England, a very sad day,
In the year of 1954.
A great goal scorer and ‘Footballer’s Gentleman’,
Vivian died at age seventy-four.
Vivian Woodward will always remain
‘Centre Forward’ of his day.
‘The Gentleman Player’, remembered with pride
For the great sport he chose to play.