NEWTOWN REMEMBERS Commemorating 100 years since the First World War
Y DRENEWYDD YN COFIO Coffáu 100 mlynedd ar ôl y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

Charles Maxwell Woosnam

Death: 14/7/1965
Regiment: Captain 25th battalion RWF
Battles: Gallipoli and Eastern Front

 

In Brief

Maxwell "Max" Woosnam (6 September 1892 – 14 July 1965) was an English sportsman who is sometimes referred to as the 'Greatest British sportsman' in recognition of his achievements.

Among his achievements were winning an Olympic gold and silver in tennis at the 1920 Summer Olympics, winning the doubles at Wimbledon, compiling a 147 break in Snooker, making a century at Lord's Cricket Ground, captaining the British Davis Cup team, captaining Manchester City F.C. finishing ultimately runners-up for the Football League Championship in 1920–21 and captaining the England national football team.

'Max" was son of Canon & Mary, and studied at Cambridge University. He served in Gallipoli until they were evacuated to Egypt November 1915. He was successful in the battles of Gaza and Jerusalem, then went to the Western Front. In Feb 1917 he married Edith. He made his name as an outstanding sportsman, remaining as an amateur throughout. He was captain of Manchester City F C and the full England team and won gold and silver medals at the Antwerp Olympics in tennis, and also Wimbledon.  He also captained the British Davies Cup team, made a century at Lords and was an outstanding golfer. He died at a London Hospital from respiratory problems. (See also Newtonian No 13 and All-Round genius by Mick Collins -Aurum press)

Early Life

Max Woosnam was born into to a wealthy family in Liverpool. The son of Maxwell Woosnam, a clergyman who served as canon of Chester and Archdeacon of Macclesfield, Woosnam spent most of his childhood in Aberhafesp, Mid Wales. He attended Winchester College, where he captained the golf and cricket teams, and also represented the school at football and squash. As a schoolboy, he made scores of 144 and 33 not out for a Public Schools XI while playing against the MCC at Lord's.

In 1911, Woosnam enrolled in Cambridge University. While here, he represented the university at football, cricket, lawn tennis, real tennis and golf (being a scratch golfer), becoming a quadruple Blue.

After Cambridge, Woosnam played amateur football for the then highly successful teams Corinthians and Chelsea.

World War One

In the First World War, he fought alongside Siegfried Sassoon on the Western Front and in the Gallipoli Campaign. Woosnam took part in a number of wartime sporting events, including football matches between a team of enlisted Corinthians players and Aldershot Command, and a Military vs Queen's Club tennis match.

Straight from his University years, Max was chosen to travel on the Corinthians tour of Brazil in the summer of 1913. Managing the tours first goal, against Rio de Janeiro, he also scored against Paulistano and made quite a name for himself. In 1914, he again set sail with the Corinthians for Brazil. However, this tour was cancelled when still at sea; the side discovered War had been declared at home. At once, the Corinthians decided, true to their ethos, that there was more to life than just sport, to return and join the army. After a quick stop in Rio, allowing the players a brief walk around the town, they set sail for home. Dodging German U-Boats and torpedo fire, they eventually made it back to England. For Max, it would be his last adventure abroad with Corinthian FC.

Post War

His football career ended in 1926 due to injuries and other commitments.

 He was appointed to the board of ICI, and died in 1965 of respiratory failure, having been a heavy smoker all his life.

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