Jonathan Woodgate: Football helped after father's death

Jonathan Woodgate

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate believes carrying on playing has helped him cope with his father's death.

The former England centre-back's father Alan passed away on the eve of the new season, but the 33-year-old has not missed a league game.

"My father would've wanted me to play," Woodgate told BBC Tees.

"He was a Middlesbrough fan all his life and took me to watch from the age of six. It wasn't easy at first but it was something I wanted to do."

Woodgate continued: "We're just normal human beings. We all suffer family tragedies and we have to get on with it."

The defender, who has been an ever-present this season, played 25 games for the club in their last campaign.

"I've tried to keep myself in training every day since it happened, I've only had one day off," he said.

"Even on the day of the funeral I came in to do some work as it's important to keep yourself busy."

The Teessiders have won one, drawn one and lost one of their opening three matches in the Championship.

"It's a solid start to the season. We went away to Charlton and got a good victory down there," Woodgate added.

"Blackpool was a different game, at times they had 10 people behind the ball. I think we're going to get that a lot this season, so it's up to us to try and create something."

Middlesborough signed Bristol City winger Albert Adomah on a three-year contract earlier this month and Woodgate expects him to make an impact.

"Albert will dominate full-backs," said Woodgate. "Pace frightens people no matter what type of defender you are.

"It's important for him to get a few goals at the start and keep on delivering balls into the box."

Boro, who are sitting in 13th in the Championship table, travel to the DW Stadium on Sunday to face Wigan.

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