Jonathan Woodgate became an instant hero at White Hart Lane after his headed goal against Chelsea won the 2008 Carling Cup, and ended a nine-year trophy drought for Spurs. Woodgate's performance in the white shirt earned him the Man of the Match award at Wembley and helped confirm him as one of the most accomplished centre-backs in the game today.
Woodgate began at Middlesbrough, before moving to Leeds at 16. In January 2003 he signed for Newcastle for £9 million. Despite injuries he established himself as a fans' favourite and attracted the attention of Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid who forked out £13.4 million to take him to the Bernabeu. He was a hit in Spain, popular among supporters and dubbed 'Madrid's true leader' by a leading newspaper. In August 2006 Woodgate returned to Boro and earned the captain's armband when regular skipper George Boateng was injured.
Consistent performances sparked rumours that he could be on his way again, with a number of top clubs interested in winning his signature. The speculation only ended when Spurs announced the signing, handing Woodgate the number 39 shirt. His debut came on January 30, 2008, against Everton and his first goal followed in that memorable Carling Cup final win over Chelsea. His second goal came on March 19 - in a 4-4 draw with Chelsea.
Typically for Woodgate his career with Spurs was unfortunately blighted by injury. In four seasons at White Hart Lane, he managed only 65 appearances (with only four in his final final two seasons at the club). At the end of the 2010-11 season, he was released by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp after failing to agree terms on a new 'pay as you play' deal.
Woodgate did, however, manage to agree such a contract with Stoke City. He signed a one year deal, with the opportunity to extend and Potters' fans will be hoping he can regain his best form.
Woodgate was first capped for England under Kevin Keegan in 1999 and although his international career has been severely curtailed because of injury, he has managed to notch up a number of appearances for his country. There is fierce competition for England's defence.