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Norman Wodehouse

Nation: England
Place of Birth: Basford
Position: Forward
Internationals: 14 caps between 1910 and 1913
Inducted: December 2, 2000

The word hero is often used to describe sportsmen but Norman Wodehouse was a hero in every sense of the word.

In 1913 he captained England to their first Grand Slam with victory over Scotland at Twickenham. The following year, along with most of his team-mates he joined the war effort. As a Naval gunnery officer he saw action in the Battle of Jutland, and was awarded the Albert Medal for risking his life to save a man overboard.

Between the wars he led a successful mission to Portugal during the Spanish Civil War. In World War II, by now a Vice-Admiral, Wodehouse lost his life in a further selfless act. Under attack from German U-boats, he ordered his convoy to scatter, perhaps saving many lives but not his own.

Phil McGowan


The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.

Norman Wodehouse was the first English captain to lead his country to a Grand Slam, a feat achieved in 1913, the year before the World War I began.

Wodehouse was in the Royal Navy, where he reached the rank of Vice-Admiral. He survived World War I and had been retired for a year when, in 1941, he was recalled to command an Atlantic convoy. It subsequently sank and Wodehouse perished with it, killed in action aged 54. It was a tragic and premature end for someone who, had it not been for the war, would almost certainly have added to the 14 caps he won.

Article by Dai Llewellyn


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