Richard Woodford
11 DeanRogers ThisIsEngland 86 88 ShaneMeadows JosephGilgun-copy.jpg
Also known as
Woody, Woods
'83, '86, '88, '90
First Appearance
Episode count
1964, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Warehouse foreman (1986-1989)
Trudy (c. 1977)
Jennifer (1988)
Lol (1978-1986, 1988-)
Portrayed by

Richard James Woodford or more commonly known as Woody, is a supporting character in This Is England and one of the central characters of ´86 and ´88 alongside Shaun and Lol.

Woody was a factory worker who lived near Nottingham, and a member of the skinhead gang during the early 80's. He was something of the leader of the gang, and his quick wit often made him popular among his peers. He is portrayed by Joe Gilgun.

Character History[edit | edit source]

Before 1983[edit | edit source]

Born in 1964, it is known that Woody was the leader of a rather large gang of skinheads, including his best friend Milky, Lol, Gadget, Pukey, Kes, Kelly, Trev, and the much older Meggy. One friend of his was Combo, though the friendship was somewhat strained due to Combo's racist nature and tendency to bully Milky. At one point, Woody and Combo got into trouble with the police, but only Combo was sentenced to prison while Woody went free. Woody would hold a sense of gratitude towards Combo from then on. He had a tattoo of a swastika on his arm (seen in 1988) but it is unknown whether this is from an earlier point in his life when he held far-right fascist views, or it is the peace version of the symbol (it is presumed to be the latter.)

1983[edit | edit source]

19 year old Woody meets Shaun, a boy who is going home after a fight with Harvey from school. Seeing Shaun's sadness, Woody attempts to cheer Shaun up, but Gadget and Pukey bully him about his trousers, causing him to storm off. Woody reprimands both Gadget and Pukey, and a few days later, invites Shaun to join them for some fun in the woods. Despite some initial tension with Gadget, Shaun is accepted into the group and Woody has his head shaved. He and Lol are reprimanded by Shaun's mother, Cynthia, for shaving his head without asking her first, but she nevertheless thanks Woody and the others for cheering Shaun up.

Woody over three years.

Later, however, Combo returns from prison and tries to enforce his racist views on the skinheads by delivering a speech and even labelling Woody as a "snake in the grass" for not standing up for Milky at the party when combo was being a racist. Woody is the first to leave the meeting and is only successful in taking Kes, Lol and a slightly hurt Milky with him. This causes the group to split in two, as Shaun, Gadget and Meggy join Combo and his friend Banjo.

Woody is last seen in the film at Smell's birthday party, but he and his group leave when Combo and his group arrive, unwilling to share the party with Combo. Combo tries to make amends, but Woody feigns that he wants to record something and leaves. Following Combo's brutal attack on Milky and lashing out at Shaun, Banjo and Meggy, the racist skinheads abandon Combo and rejoin Woody, who welcomes them back with open arms.

1986[edit | edit source]

By 1986, Woody has proposed to Lol and is ready to marry her, but it is obvious from the start that he is having second thoughts, stemming from his bleak relationship with his own father. At the wedding, Woody ultimately cannot bring himself to say "I do", and before he can, Harvey (the newest member of the group) rushes in and tells them that Meggy has had a heart attack. The wedding is abandoned in order to get Meggy to the hospital, where Lol expresses her anger at Woody for jolting her. Despite this, Woody urges Lol to forgive him and move into their new home with him (as does Lol's mother, since she has secretly given Lol's bedroom to her recently-returned abusive husband, Mick).


Woody is also facing problems at work, since his spiteful boss takes every opportunity to make life harder for Woody while maintaining a happy face, and Lol becomes more distant towards Woody than ever. Meanwhile, after learning that Shaun was at the same hospital as Meggy following an altercation with a bully, Flip, Woody and the gang go to Shaun's house and welcome him back, since he has not been with them for a while since being traumatised by Combo's attack on Milky. Upset at his failing relationship, Woody confides in Milky, unaware that Lol is having an affair with him.


Ultimately, Milky manages to talk Woody into marrying Lol again. He and Milky go around telling their friends about the upcoming wedding, but it is halted due to the death of Lol's father. Woody and Lol are last seen kissing, implying that she has accepted his proposal. Woody has a weller inspired bowl cut hair, and wears mod influnced clothing compared to the skinhead look he had in 1983.

1988[edit | edit source]

Woody in 1988.

In 1988 Woody is 24, however, he and Lol are no longer together, since she has given birth to Milky's daughter, living proof of her affair with him. Devastated, Woody imposes exile on himself and leaves the gang, at one point trying to kill himself with no success. Having a more conservative haircut but still wearing smart mod-like clothing, Woody soon finds a new girlfriend Jennifer and the two live at his parents', who adore his new partner. He is offered a promotion at work by his now-friendlier boss. After much deliberation, Woody accepts, but while walking through town with Jennifer, he bumps into his old gang and confronts Milky about his affair with Lol. Old wounds start to surface and Woody attacks Milky, accusing the others of taking his side and even referring to Milky as the "snake in the grass", referencing what Combo calln and rushes to the hospital, where he see, where they share a moment alone and admit that they still love each other and cannot live without the other. Lol finally admits to Woody that it was herself, and not Combo, who killed her father (Mick had raped Trev and was attempting to rape a vengeful Lol when she retaliated by killing him). Woody and Lol reconcile their differences and embrace each other.

Woody in 1990.

1990[edit | edit source]

Woody now 26, is now a stay at home Dad for Lisa and his newly born child with Lol. He has grown a beard and let his hair grow, in addition his clothing is baggy and shabby. Smoking marijuana at home and watching documentaries on television seem to be his routine. After proposing to Lol when Combo comes to stay, he soon smartens up for his wedding and is last seen happily dancing with Lol as the gang look on.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Woody's appearance over the series.

Romantic Relationships
  • Woody and Lol - refers to the romantic pairing between Richard Woodford and Lol, which spanned throughout 1983 and 1986.
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