St Helens, Lancashire born inside right Harry Woods initially trained as a glass worker while playing football as a centre forward with St Helens Recreation in 1908, Ashton Town in 1909, and St Helens Town in 1910. He then joined Southern League club Norwich City in 1911, for whom he played until the outbreak of the First World War, scoring 37 goals in 151 appearances over four seasons before the onset of the War forced the suspension of peacetime football.
Woods served in the Tank Corps in France during the First World War but once peacetime football resumed he joined Second Division South Shields in August 1919, making his Football League debut at Fulham the same month and stayed two and a half years, scoring 24 goals in 95 appearances before moving to Newcastle United in January 1922 for £2,600, a transfer fee that for a few months was the world record although it was quickly exceeded by the £5,000 Falkirk paid West Ham a few months later for Syd Puddefoot.
Unfortunately Woods didn’t settle at Newcastle and moved to First Division rivals Arsenal for £750 in June 1923 after 2 goals in 16 matches. He scored only ten goals in 1923-24 as Arsenal just avoided relegation, but he was still their top scorer, and it was the arrival of Jimmy Brain that really eclipsed him. In 1924-25 Brain netted 12 goals from 28 matches, often playing inside forward, while Woods scored 12 from 32 almost all at centre forward.
With Arsenal suffering a second season near relegation Herbert Chapman was brought in, and in 1925-26 Arsenal finished League runners up with Brain getting 34 goals in 41 games, playing alongside Charlie Buchan (19 from 39) the Chapman revolution had started. Woods played almost no part in the Arsenal team that season playing 3 times, and moved on to Third Division (South) club Luton Town in August 1926 having played 75 games for The Gunners, scoring 22 goals. He finished his League career with four seasons at Kenilworth Road, scoring 27 goals in 105 appearances before a move into non league football with North Shields in 1930, his final club before his eventual retirement.
NB in the photograph taken at Highbury on 25th August 1923, he challenges Newcastle goalkeeper Bill Bradley and defender Billy Hampson.