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Woodgate opted to play despite family bereavement
7:00am Monday 5th August 2013 in Sport
JONATHAN WOODGATE played in the opening game of Middlesbrough's season despite the death of his father.
Woodgate's father, Alan, passed away after a lengthy battle against illness shortly before Boro's opening-day fixture against Leicester, yet the centre-half was adamant that he wanted to play in the game.
It is understood he informed Boro boss Tony Mowbray of developments, and was told he could miss the match on compassionate grounds.
However, he insisted on lining up against Leicester, with his team-mates unaware of his personal issues until they convened for a post-match debrief yesterday.
“I thought Woodgate was immense as we did the basics very well in the first half,” said Mowbray, in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's 2-1 defeat. “We headed balls back into their half very well. There is a directness to their (Leicester) play and their goalkeeper does kick the ball a long way into the other half. Woodgate must have headed 20 or 30 balls in the first half straight back into their half of the field.”
Woodgate is unlikely to start tomorrow's Capital One Cup first-round game with Accrington Stanley, with Ben Gibson poised to play alongside Rhys Williams at centre-half.
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