The story

of Maurice Woodward.


was born in Enderby in 1891, and played local football there before joining

Leicester Fosse as a centre-half in August 1912. 


by an ankle injury he only played two games for the Fosse. He signed for

Southern League Southend United in July 1914, but war broke out before he could

play for them. When the First World War broke out, league football continued

for the whole of the following season. 


came in for much criticism for ‘not doing their bit’. This led to the

‘Footballers’ Battalion’ (otherwise known as the 17th Middlesex Battalion)

being created in December 1914 at a meeting at Fulham Town Hall. Quite soon

professional footballers with connections to over 70 clubs, including Leicester

Fosse, signed up. 


Battalion was brought up to strength (about 1,000) by amateur players, officials

and football fans eager to serve alongside their favorite players. 


November 1915, Maurice went to France with the Footballers’ Battalion where he

served under Bradford City’s England international Major Frank Buckley, who

later became a famous manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The battalion first

saw serious action on the Somme, losing over 500 officers and men between 25

July and 11 August 1916. 

On 24 July

1916, the day before his Battalion’s serious involvement in the battle, (which

had already been raging for three weeks), Maurice, by now a sergeant, played

for a team of NCOs against a team from ‘B’ Company. One of the players in the

‘B’ Company team was Joe Mercer, the father of the famous player Joe Mercer,

who later managed Manchester City against Leicester City in the 1969 FA Cup



following day the Footballers’ Battalion moved up to the front with a fighting

strength of 38 officers and 872 men. They occupied some recently captured

German trenches astride the Montuban-Carnoy Road, relieving the 10th Royal

Welch Fusiliers. The trenches had been badly damaged by British guns prior to

their capture, and were littered with the bodies and body parts of many dead

German soldiers, together with many dead horses. 


afterwards, the Battalion was involved in an assault on Delville Wood and

Longueval. Over the next eighteen days, the Battalion lost over 500 officers

and men. 

In 2010 a

memorial to the Footballers Battalion was erected in this area (above). Four

months later, the Battalion suffered another 300 casualties at Redan Ridge and

462 more at Oppy Wood, near Vimy Ridge, the following spring. Maurice was

wounded twice during the war but survived and rejoined Southend United before

joining Second Division Wolverhampton Wanders in April 1920 for a fee of


He was

badly troubled by sciatica, but he was fit to play for Wolves in the 1921 FA

Cup Final at Stamford Bridge against a Tottenham Hotspur side which contained

his former Fosse team mate Tommy Clay as well as Jimmy Seed, the brother of

Leicester Fosse’s Angus Seed, another member of the Footballers’ Battalion . 


Hotspur won the Final 1-0, their goal coming after the ball bounced off Maurice’s

thigh into the path of the Spurs winger Dimmock whose 25 yard shot skimmed off

the very muddy surface before sailing over the Wolves goalkeeper into the



sciatica and a knee injury kept Maurice out for most of the following season.

He was transferred to Bristol Rovers but was never able to play for them. 


playing for Wolves, Maurice lived in Nuneaton and played as a batsman for

Chilvers Coton Cricket Club alongside ‘Billy’ Barratt the Leicester City

full-back. In later life, Maurice kept the Old Bush Inn at Wall Heath near

Wolverhampton and Royal Oak at Chapel ash .He died on February 17th 1950 at

West Bromwich General Hospital. User Agreement

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1 Introduction
Marston’s PLC (“Company”) takes your privacy seriously. This privacy policy describes how and why we obtain, store and process data which can identify you. We may update this policy from time to time and shall indicate on the web site when changes have been made.

2 The Information we collect
Information is collected from you when you register with us, or when you contribute to or use some of the advanced features on the site. The information we collect is clearly set out on the web page on which we collect it. See for example our registration page and order form. In addition, we may collect your IP address and use cookies unless you configure your web browser not to accept them.

3 Why we collect it
We collect information about you so that we can personalise your use of the site, assist your use of the site and improve the site generally. Depending upon your selections for our data protection questions we may arrange for you to be sent information about related products and services from us and carefully selected third parties (see section 4). You may update the answers to your questions at any time.

4 Who we disclose it to
4.1 We will only pass on information about you as an individual (as opposed to aggregate information) to third parties to enable us to perform services requested by you or with your prior consent.
4.2 If you give your consent, we will pass your contact details to third parties who may then occasionally send communications to you to provide information, offers and services that may be of interest to you.
4.3 In certain circumstances we may need to disclose information about you if you breach this privacy policy or if you breach the Terms and Conditions. We may also disclose or access your account if required to do so by law or by any Governmental body.
4.4 We will only pass on information about you as an individual (as opposed to aggregate information) to third parties overseas to enable us to perform services requested by you.
4.5 We may share your information with selected third parties including our business partners and suppliers for the performance of any obligations owed to them or to you. In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, or the day-to-day operational aspect of the business is transferred to a third party, we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets or third party.

5 Data Protection
The Company is registered with the Information Commissioner in the UK as a “data controller” in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. Further details of the registration are available at

6 Security
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7 Automated decisions
Parts of and our billing process (which is transacted via [Paypal / Worldpay]) are automatic and we may process your personal data as part of and the billing process.

8 Accessing and updating your personal information
We will always let you have a copy of personal information we have about you, should you request it, and you may correct it if you wish. Instructions about how to do this are available from

9 Questions?
If you have any questions or complaints relating to this Privacy Policy or how we use the personal information we have about you, please contact We will endeavour to respond to you promptly.