Woods was born on 27th November 1883 in Wolverhampton and played
full-back for Swindon, Newton Abbot, Bristol, Gloucester from 1905-6 to partway
through the 1907-8 season, and Cheltenham. He was the son of Thomas Wood, a
Railway Engine Driver, and Mary Ann Wood.
as their extra half-back against the original All Blacks in 1905, but he was
mainly noted as a fullback with a siege-gun kick. He came to the attention of
selection committee playing for Devon and later Gloucestershire in the
. Wood finally forced his way into the South XV that faced the North in a match
. He cut an impressive figure in the South's 26-3 victory in what was
effectively the final
trial and he was selected to make his international debut against
on New Year's Day, 1908. He played three times for
in the first three games of the 1907-08 Five nations against
. In which he made four conversions. He was dropped for the final game against
and replaced by George Hamilton d’Oyly of United Services. His second game
was the only international played at Ashton Gate, in a foggy
the playing fields he was a publican in his rugby union days, finishing off as
landlord at the Prince of Wales in
. When he went there in January 1908, the
club suspected that their great rivals, Cheltenham RFC, had engineered his
appointment in order to lure him from the Cherry and Whites.
the following year, however, he was established in the
area where he later worked for many years as an engineer's fitter for AV Roe
week after Alf's third (and as it turned out, last) Rugby Union International on
15th February 1908, he attended the last of three Rugby League
internationals between the touring New Zealand "All Golds" and
England, as a spectator. The international was held at the Athletic Ground
Cheltenham and was the deciding game, the first at Headingley being lost 6-14
and the second at
being won by the tourists 18-6. (In the event,
won the match 8-5 to take the first-ever series). Alf Wood was recognised at
the match and approached by the
committee; he was signed by the Rugby League side in time for the start of
the 1908-09 season. He gained a RL Championship medal for
in 1910, having gained a runners-up medal with the club the season before. He
also picked up a Challenge Cup runners-up medal for Oldham in the 1912 Final
against Dewsbury where his opposite fullback was John Jackett, who had been his
main challenger for the
position in the Union game.
married Rose Clark in
won two caps for
and four for
at Rugby League.
went on to represent
in four rugby league Tests between 1911 and 1914, landing goals in each game.
He toured with the
side that went to
in 1914 and kicked four goals in the famous "Rorke's Drift" Test at
the Sydney Cricket Ground that decided the series.
the tour Program Click Here
other former Union internationals - Willie "Avon" Davies and Percy
) and Dave Holland (
) played in that Test. The tourists were reduced to nine men for part of the
game, but staved off intense Aussie pressure to win the match 14-6 and so take
the series 2-1. Wood finished as the tour's leading scorer, his 97 points
comprising 47 goals and a try.
died on 15th February 1963 in
. Exactly 55 years to the day after his first encounter with Rugby League on the
Athletic Ground Cheltenham.