A strong central defender, who had rave reviews in his early days before injuries hit his career, Jonathan Woodgate's move to Tottenham saw him win silverware within a matter of weeks of signing for £7 million.
A Leeds United AFC trainee, signing professional forms on 13 May 1997, Woodgate went on to be part of the youth side that won the 1997 FA Youth Cup.
While at Leeds, he was involved in an alleged racial attack on an Asian youth - Safraz Najeib - after a night out at the Majestik nightclub in the city. During the long court case, he could not bring himself to play football and hew as eventually found guilty of affray, sentenced to 100 hours of Community Service and being punished with a fine of eight weeks wages by his club. After this he suffered a further setback when he had his jaw broken in a play fight with friends on a trip back to his native Middlesbrough.
After five years at Elland Road, Jonathan signed for Newcastle United FC for £9 million on 31 January 2003, but only stayed for one season, when the Magpies decided to cash in on the defender, despite his outstanding performances in the UEFA Cup run to the semi-final that season.
Signed for Real Madrid CF in August 2004 for £13.4 million. Due to his injury record, Jonathan only played nine games in three years, but did have a memorable debut, in which he scored an own goal and got sent off. Not a hit with the Real fans, he was voted the worst signing the club had made in the 21st Century on a website.
After yet more injury-plagued seasons, Woodgate returned home to Teesside on 30 August 2006 for a season-long loan stint with Middlesbrough FC, though on 5th February 2007, it was announced, by Madrid, that the deal would eventually be permanent, and it was, on 26 April, for a fee close to £7 million.
Eight months later, Woodgate left Boro to join Tottenham Hotspur FC, for £7 million, in the January 2008 transfer window and he scored the winning goal in extra time against Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup Final. Following his good performances for club, Woodgate was called into the first couple of squads under new England manager Fabio Capello, although he has not yet made it onto the pitch in an England shirt as a Spurs player.
The initial worries about his injury-prone past have proved unfounded, as he has been almost a regular and despite lacking blistering pace, he has formed good defensive partnerships with Ledley King and Michael Dawson, even taking the captain's armband on occasion when injury has robbed the team of the usual wearers. However, a groin operation kept him out of the start of the 2009-10 season and he failed to play again that season after the 9-1 win over Wigan Athletic at White Hart Lane.
Further problems lead to him travelling the world to try and find a solution to the continuing groin injury, visiting specialists in America, Europe and Australia. When the summer of 2010 arrived, Woodgate faced one last operation to try and save his career and with the new 25 man squad system introduced into the Premier League, his name was the major omission, as there was no date set for his return to the pitch.
Jonathan only made one substitute's appearance in the Champions League at AC Milan during 2010-11, but there were talks of Harry Redknapp wanting to keep the defender on at the end of the season, with a pay-as-you-play contract on offer. However, terms could not be agreed and the player was released by the club on 16th June, allowing him to agree a pay as you play deal with Stoke City.