Woodgate gets abuse from Middlesbrough fans while managing junior Sunday team

Former England defender Jonathan Woodgate has admitted that he gets heckled with abuse by Middlesbrough fans when managing his son's Sunday League side.

The ex-centre back made over 300 career appearances for numerous clubs including Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Tottenham during his playing days.

After hanging up his boots in 2016, the 41-year-old has since turned his attention to coaching, spending a year in charge of another former side in Middlesbrough after being appointed in 2019 before a short stint at Bournemouth earlier this year.

The former Galactico, who endured a torrid time in Madrid, has now opened up on his experiences of juggling Middlesbrough management with the running of his son's local Sunday League side.

Woodgate revealed that there were times when he would receive a stream of abuse while coaching the junior team on a Sunday following a poor result for his Championship outfit Boro on the previous day.

"Me and Graeme Lee are managers of my lad's Sunday League team," Woodgate revealed while speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Tottenham v Leeds.

"You can imagine it, right, I was Middlesbrough manager at the time, we get beat on a Saturday, then I've got to turn up with my lad on a Sunday and pick the team for these kids, and I've got Boro fans on the side of the pitch giving me stick!

"I've just got to stand there and try to manage a kids' game of football."

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"I know a lot of ex-players will take their kids to football matches and keep themselves to themselves, not get involved with the training or anything. But – and no disrespect to the other parents – the kids are going to get better coaching from me and Graeme because of our experience. Why wouldn't I help out and coach the kids?"

Woodgate, who only managed eight England caps after seeing a promising career ravaged by injuries, also revealed how his competitive side often gets the better of him as he sulks if suffering defeat as manager.

"I'm horrible to be around after a defeat as a manager. Horrendous. Just ask my wife. If we get beat, I'll get back home, stick myself in my own little room and put the tele on. I don't want to talk to anyone. I can't. Nothing calms you down."

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"But the next day, when you go into work, you're straight again. It's done; you're over it. You've got to move on quickly; take the night to get over it and get back at it."

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