Wood Arthur Image 1 Clapton Orient 1926

Wood Arthur Image 1 Clapton Orient 1926


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Walsall born goalkeeper Arthur Wood had been on the books of Portsmouth as an amateur in 1910 and was given a trial by Southern League Southampton in April 1913, thereafter he was taken on to the staff at The Dell.

He made his first team debut in the Southern League on 9th September 1914 in a 3-2 defeat at Luton, replacing Ernie Steventon. He retained his place for six matches before Steventon returned in October, followed by a longer spell in the first team from December to March. By the end of the 1914-15 season he had made 19 appearances, exactly half the League matches played, as well as playing in all four matches in the FA Cup.

During the First World War, Wood enlisted in the Royal Engineers, but his military duties allowed him to turn out for Southampton in the various War Leagues. On the resumption of League football in 1919, Wood started as the first choice goalkeeper, and played in the opening 18 matches, before he was replaced by George Wilcock. Wilcock left Southampton at the end of the season and was replaced by Tommy Allen as first choice ‘keeper for Southampton’s first season in the Football League. Wood only made two Football League appearances for The Saints before moving to Clapton Orient in May 1921 after 43 appearances.

At Orient, playing in the Second Division, Wood soon became their first choice goalkeeper in preference to Jimmy Hugall and missed only a handful of matches in the next eight seasons, being ever present for each of the seasons from 1922-23 to 1925-26. From 1925-26 onwards, Orient struggled in the League, finishing one place above the relegation zone for three consecutive seasons, before they were relegated to the Third Division (South) in 1929. By now, age was catching up with Wood and he retired in the summer of 1931. In his ten years at Clapton Orient, he “became something of an institution” playing 395 times and for some years was the club captain. He subsequently played non league football in the Isle of Wight in the early 1930’s joining Ryde Sports in 1931 and Newport in 1933 before his eventual retirement.

He was the son of Harry Wood, the Wolves, Southampton and England international forward.

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