Willie Woodburn

Football, Football player

1919 – 2001


Who was Willie Woodburn?

William 'Willie' Woodburn was a Scottish footballer. He was the last footballer in Britain to receive a life ban from the game for indiscipline. He is also an inductee of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame and the Rangers F.C. Hall of Fame.

Born in Edinburgh, he played for junior side Edinburgh Ashton before signing as a professional for Rangers in October 1937. He made his debut on 20 August 1938 in a 2-2 draw in the League against Motherwell. After the war he established himself in the Rangers side and won four League Championships with the club. He appeared in the first Scottish League Cup Final in April 1947, when Rangers beat Aberdeen 4-0.

Woodburn won 24 caps for Scotland. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw with England at Wembley. Woodburn also appeared seven times for the Scottish League XI.

In 1947 he received a 14-day ban for a "violent exchange" with Motherwell's Dave Mathie, then in 1953 he punched the Clyde striker Billy McPhail, which earned a 21-day ban. Later that year, Woodburn was sent off for retaliation in a match with Stirling Albion. The clubs met again, the following season, in a League Cup tie at Ibrox on 28 August 1954. Playing with a knee injury, Woodburn took exception to a bad foul and retaliated by headbutting a Stirling player.

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Aug 6, 1919
  • Scotland
Lived in
  • Edinburgh
Dec 2, 2001

on July 23, 2013


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