The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Woodward declares welcoming barbeque a ‘massive success’

Woodward barbie
Woodward cooking for his guests at his welcome bash

Originally published August 11th, 2005

Despite four cases of food poisoning, two domestic arguments, a crate of stale beer, sprinkles of rain and one minor burns incident, Sir Clive Woodward hailed his recent garden barbeque a great success.

The outdoor feast was held by Sir Clive to allow the players, managers and administrators of Southampton Football Club to get to know him better as he begins his new post at their academy. Woodward invited over fifty guests to the evening’s event and offered over thirty meat options for them to savour.

However, several of the guests complained of stomach upsets the following day and sources close to Woodward believe that he may have overstretched himself by offering too many meat choices.

‘Clive was a great host,’ said one Southampton official. ‘And amazing as it was to be presented with such a range of foods, I think he rushed the cooking too much to allow time to prepare everything. That may have led to the food poisoning.’

Woodward, who is famous for his meticulous planning, left no stone unturned in his quest for the perfect barbeque. All guests were greeted upon arrival by a team of nutritionists and dieticians who offered advice on the best kinds of foods for every individual – depending on body size, weight, etc. Next, all guests were given a laptop computer, with wireless internet connection, to allow them to log onto Clive’s specially commissioned website and order their food.

Woodward had even arranged a specially commissioned song to be sung for the barbeque, although it was received poorly by those in attendance. At the end of the evening all guests were handed an analysis sheet listing a wide range of details such as how much food and drink they had consumed, how many people they had met, how many words they had spoken and how popular they had been with other guests.

However, despite Woodward’s attention to detail, the event did not pass off without a few problems. As well as the aforementioned food poisoning problems, the evening was blighted by spots of rains, arguments amongst guests and, particularly embarrassing for Woodward, an out of date crate of English beer being served.

‘I took a swig of this ale,’ said a Southampton squad member. ‘I was quite thirsty and suddenly this foul tasting stuff hit my throat. I spat it out straight away and took a good look at the bottle: it expired in November 2003. Why would he keep using that? He could easily have bought a fresh crate, I hear some of those Southern Hemisphere beers are quite a treat, he could have brought some with him when he came back from New Zealand.’

Woodward, who honed his cooking technique from his years living in Australia, denied the event was a massive failure, even after it was revealed he suffered minor burns to his right hand after cooking some burgers. It is believed the burn happened as Woodward was showing off the World Cup - kept at his side throughout the barbeque - to Harry Redknapp.

‘I think the evening was a great success,’ said Woodward. ‘If you want to judge a barbeque by the quality of the food and drink then that is your decision. I prefer to look at the wider picture; it was all about making friends and enjoying ourselves, mixing with the community. That is why I have no problem declaring the event a winner.’

Asked if he would consider simplifying future barbeques to include less guests and a narrower range of foods, Sir Clive responded: ‘Not at all. In fact I would make next time even bigger: more guests, more food and more drink. It is the way forward.’