In a somewhat bizarre Exeter City career goalkeeper Andy Woodman made just ten league and cup appearances and managed to be sent off twice on successive Saturdays. A close friend of future England manager Gareth Southgate, Andy recovered from his brief spell with the Grecians and went on to have a long professional career with clubs such as Northampton, Brentford, Colchester and Oxford. With a son - also a goalkeeper - representing England at under-21 level, Andy later went into management first at Whitehawk and later Bromley.
Andy started his career at Crystal Palace as a trainee in 1987 along with Gareth Southgate with whom he soon became friends; the pair later co-authoring a 2003 book entitled “Woody and Nord: A Football Friendship”.
Signing professionally in August 1989, Andy never appeared in Palace’s first-team and in July 1994 - just short of his 23rd birthday - agreed a deal with the newly-relegated Exeter City. Primarily recruited as understudy to Peter Fox, Andy actually made his debut against Lincoln City on the opening day of the season before waiting in the wings until Fox sustained an injury in the autumn.
With only the 16-year-old Ross Bellotti as back-up on the bench, Andy was sent-off playing in the league against Scarborough on 26 November 1994. As Bellotti hurriedly came on to become the club’s youngest-ever Football League ‘keeper, the same happened the following Saturday when Andy was dismissed during the FA Cup tie against Colchester United.
Andy’s days at Exeter City appeared to be numbered and, following Peter Fox’s return to the side, he was allowed to move to Northampton Town in March 1995 after just six league and four cup appearances.
Once at Northampton, Andy never looked back as he made 200 appearances in all competitions and became something of a ‘cult hero’. Then in January 1999, after a brief loan spell, Andy moved to Brentford where he added around sixty league outings to his tally. Further appearances followed on loan at Southend United before subsequent permanent moves to Colchester United and Oxford United. Dropping to the Conference with Stevenage - and also briefly playing with Redbridge and Thurrock - Andy returned to the Football League to make a handful of appearances with Rushden and Diamonds by which time he had played more than 400 times at that level of football. After a first managerial appointment as assistant-manager at Rushden, Andy became a coach at West Ham United as he started to work alongside former Palace teammate Alan Pardew. Subsequently Andy followed Pardew by taking various roles at Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United and - after a twenty-one year absence - Crystal Palace in July 2015.
By this time Andy’s son Freddie, also a goalkeeper, was on the books of Newcastle and progressing through the England ranks from under-16 to under-21 level. Andy meanwhile left Selhurst Park together with Alan Pardew and, in 2017, took charge of Whitehawk before his later appointment as manager of Bromley in March 2021. Turning down the offer of a job as Gillingham’s manager in January 2022, Andy guided Bromley to the FA Trophy in May 2022 (beating Wrexham at Wembley) and the National League play-offs in 2022/23..