Player name in full: Maxwell Woosnam
To/from dates: 1920-1925
Number of appearances: 93
Goals scored: 4
Biography and City Career:
Born in Liverpool in September 1892, Maxwell,"Max", Woosnam was an English sportsman who is sometimes referred to as the 'Greatest British Sportsman' in recognition of his achievements.
In 1911 he attended Trinity College, Cambridge, representing the college at football, cricket, lawn tennis and real tennis. When he left Cambridge he started playing amateur football for the then highly successful team Corinthians and he also played a handful of games for Chelsea.
In 1914, Max was chosen to travel on the Corinthians overseas tour and set sail for Brazil. However, this tour was cancelled whilst the team was still at sea as war had been declared by the UK government.
After the war, Max continued his amateur sporting career, taking part in several major sporting events.
Upon moving to Manchester, he signed for Manchester City on amateur terms and made his debut on 1 January 1920 against Bradford City. Initially he played only home matches due to other commitments. However, when City, without Max, suffered a shock 3–0 FA Cup defeat to Leicester City, some supporters blamed Max’s employers, Crossley Brothers for refusing to allow him to play on a workday. As a result, the engineering firm capitulated and ordered Woosman not to miss another game.
A dominating centre half, Max eventually became Manchester City captain on the recommendation of his teammates. This was highly unusual for an amateur amongst professionals. Eventually his success allowed him to play for England, both for the amateur team and, as a full international as captain
In 1920, Max was invited to captain the Great Britain Davis Cup tennis team culminating in a tour of America.
One of Woosnam's proudest moments came in the following year, when he captained Manchester City in their first ever game at Maine Road upon its official opening, at which the Lord Mayor was present. Unfortunately, 1923 was also the year Max suffered a broken leg, an injury which would have a lasting effect on the rest of his career.
During the First World War, Max fought alongside the renowned poet Siegfried Sassoon on the Western Front and in the Gallipoli Campaign
Max’s other sporting achievements included, winning an Olympic gold and silver medals for tennis at the 1920 Summer Olympics, winning the doubles at Wimbledon, compiling a 147 break in Snooker, completing a century at Lord's Cricket Ground, and he was also a scratch golfer.
Between 1924 and 1926, Max played sparingly for Northwich Victoria but called time on his career after various injuries prevented him from regular appearances.
After his football career ended, he was appointed to the board of ICI, and died in 1965.