Charles Woods was born in Adelaide on February 24th 1869. He was the youngest of seven children born to James and Catherine Henrietta Woods. They were parents to four boys who were to form an early dynasty at the newly formed Norwood Football Club and whose legacy remains today.
Woods Street, adjacent to Norwood Oval, is named in honour of his older brother, John and the Woods Medal, awarded to the player demonstrating outstanding leadership on and off the field is named in honour of the family.
Charlie was destined to wear the red and blue. Older brothers, Julian and Edward had played in the club’s first six premierships prior to Charles’ first game and John had been part of the most recent three premierships and was destined to play in three more alongside Charlie.
He debuted as a 17 year old but demonstrated his readiness by kicking 19 goals in his first season and topping the side’s goal kicking list.
Reports of the day spoke of his excellent ground skills and how many of his goals were the result of guile and cleverness.
Charlie went on to be Norwood’s leading goal kicker in seven of the 11 seasons in which he played. In three of those seasons (1888, 1891, 1892) he was the competition’s leading scorer with tallies of 29, 55 and 46 respectively. His tally of 55 in 1891 was the first time a Norwood player had kicked 50 goals in a season.
He was three times a premiership player including the 1889 premiership when for the first time it was necessary for a play- off game. Norwood defeated Port and Charlie played his part by kicking three of Norwood’s seven goals.
In 1888 he was in the team that beat Victorian Premiers, South Melbourne in three consecutive games at Kensington Oval to become Champions of Australia.
Woods' composure under pressure was recalled in the WA Sportsman 4 June 1915 p 5 " One very muddy day in 1893 South Australia was playing Victoria on the Adelaide Oval and we well remember how Charlie Woods marked the ball some 60 yards out just before the final bell rang. South Australia wanted a goal to win, when Woods got a stick and leisurely scraped the mud from the ball, then wiped it on his trousers, and then again on his guernsey; after that he slowly and carefully placed the ball - the proceedings taking at least four minutes. The crowd was wild with itself with no ordinary degree of with [sic] excitement, and expressed vehemence at the sang froid of Woods, who seemed as if he did not care if he took two hours over his kick. Amidst intense excitement Woods kicked the goal and won the match."
Charles served Norwood in administration as well as on the field. He was club secretary from 1894 to 1897.
Away from football Charles was successful in the business world. He formed a partnership with J. Henry Spinkston and together they worked as hotel brokers and licensed valuers, working from an office in King William Street.
At 37 years of age, Charles married Anna Ida Louise Juttar on 19th October 1903. They had a son, Charles, who was born in 1910.
Four time premiership player, seven times leading goal kicker, four years club secretary and Life Member. Charles Woods is one of the truly great men of Norwood.
Charles Woods died on the 1st June, 1951 aged 82
B Ridge Feb 2020