Greatest 50 Players - 48. Tony Woodcock

Greatest 50 Players - 48. Tony Woodcock

Tony Woodcock was one of England's most-travelled footballers when he arrived at Highbury in the summer of 1982.

A European Cup winner with Nottingham Forest in 1979, Woodcock took the unusual step of joining Bundesliga side FA Koln. He spent three years in Germany before returning to England after the 1982 World Cup and signing for Terry Neill's Gunners.

"Ted Drake had scored seven on the same ground nearly 50 years before. At the time, I was just happy we had won and it was obviously great to score five. But looking back it is only more than 30 years later that I really wish I had scored more"

Tony Woodcock

Arsenal were struggling to maintain the standards which had taken them to five finals in the space of three seasons from 1978 to 1980, but Woodcock quickly settled and was the club's top scorer for the next four seasons. He had pace, control and a keen eye for goal.

The England striker - he won a total of 42 caps - netted an impressive 21 goals in the 1983/84 campaign and is probably best remembered for an individual scoring spree at Aston Villa. In October 1983, Woodcock netted five times as Arsenal romped to a 6-2 win.

Woodcock's feat was set a new post-war record for Arsenal but he fell short of the club record. That is still held by Ted Drake who, ironically, scored seven times in a 7-1 win against the same opponents at the same venue in December 1935.

Woodcock's career was hampered by a serious injury he suffered in March 1985 and, when George Graham arrived in the summer of 1986, the striker was deemed surplus to requirements and returned to the Bundesliga.

Considering Arsenal's travails in the early to mid-1980s, Woodcock left Highbury with a record to be proud off - 68 goals in 169 appearances.

This list of 50 Gunners Greatest Players was determined by tens of thousands of Arsenal fans from across the world. The vote took place on the club’s official website in 2008. To help prevent multiple voting by a single person, only registered members of Arsenal.com could take part. 

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