Jonathan Woodgate has had a long and illustrious career in football. One of the most naturally gifted defenders that England has produced, Woodgate’s career was blighted by injury. Despite this, he continued to overcome adversity to appear at some of the most prestigious clubs in the world. Born in Middlesborough, Woodgate began his youth career with his hometown club before moving to Yorkshire giants, Leeds United. He made his debut in 1998 after helping Leeds to an FA Youth Cup victory the year before.
He was highly regarded at Leeds United, alongside fellow youngster, Rio Ferdinand and competed with him and veterans, Dominic Matteo and Lucas Radebe for a starting berth. Despite some injury troubles, his sale to Newcastle United was met with outrage from Leeds‘ fans.
He quickly followed on his good form, and became a favourite on Tyneside, following his £9 million transfer in 2003. He played a key role in Newcastle‘s run to the UEFA Cup semi-final, helping them hold out to beat a Marseille featuring a certain Didier Drogba. Newcastle prevailed 1-0 in the first leg before Woodgate was injured and Newcastle lost the second leg 2-0 to crash out.
Though Woodgate’s injury problems were well-documented, it didn’t stop European big-wigs, Real Madrid signing him up in 2004, for £13.4 million. After taking a year to make his debut, due to injury, Woodgate finally did so the following season in 2005. His long-awaited debut went sour when he scored an own goal and was sent off. But Woodgate did what he did best, bouncing back to establish himself as a first team regular in 2006, and one of the pivotal leaders within the team. That was unfortunately short-lived for Woodgate as injuries saw struggle once more. This saw him move on loan to his hometown club, Middlesborough in 2006.
After a number of top performances for Middlesborough and a decent run of games, Woodgate was crowned the North East Player of the Year by the Prince’s Trust in 2007. He joined Tottenham Hotspur for £8 million in 2008, once again becoming an important player for the club. He was made second vice-captain, behind Robbie Keane but his great start was once again tainted by long-term injury. After a one-year deal with Stoke City, Woodgate joined Middlesborough for his second professional spell making 61 appearances over four seasons.
In a career which promised so much, Woodgate’s career failed to truly take off. But it was his incredible attitude and mental toughness that inspired him to continue in the face of adversity. A keynote speech from Jonathan Woodgate is sure to leave your guests in a frenzy at your corporate events. Available to inspire your team and discuss the topics and themes that sum up the good, the bad and the ugly of his career – an evening with Woodgate is forever an insightful occasion.
To book Jonathan Woodgate as the football speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.
When at corporate events, Jonathan is known to cover the following topics:
- Real Madrid
- Footballing Success
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Football Management
- The Premier League
- Spanish Football