Why Premier League players celebrated goals by performing an ‘A’ hand gesture this weekend

Jack de Menezes
·3-min read
Premier League players paid tribute to late Chelsea fan Andrew 'Woody' Wood this weekend (Getty)
Premier League players paid tribute to late Chelsea fan Andrew 'Woody' Wood this weekend (Getty)

A number of Premier League players including Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley paid tribute to Chelsea fan Andrew ‘Woody’ Wood after his death last week.

The Aston Villa pair were both on target in the crushing 7-2 victory over reigning Premier League champions Liverpool on Sunday, and celebrated by forming an ‘A’ with the hands immediately after scoring.

The gesture was also seen at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell displayed it following his opener in the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

A number of fans questioned the celebration on Twitter as it was not immediately clear why players from different clubs were performing the gesture, but it was revealed to be a tribute to the late Chelsea fan, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 33.

Barkley joined Villa on loan from Chelsea last weekend and capped his goal on his club debut with the tribute to Wood, while both Frank Lampard and John Terry, the former Blues teammates who are now manager and assistant manager at Chelsea and Villa respectively, also posted tributes on Instagram.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta also posted a tribute of his own on Saturday night, with the Spaniard dedicating the win over Palace in his memory.

Azpilicueta wrote on Twitter: “Such sad news. We’ve lost a true Blue. Sending love and strength to Woody’s family and friends. Today’s win was for you Woody.”

Supporters’ group We Are The Shed posted a statement in social media to confirm Wood’s passing, along with a glowing tribute to the Stamford Bridge regular.

“Woody’s enthusiasm for following Chelsea all over the world was as infectious as it was admirable,” the statement read.

“He took his sons Nicholas and Joe with him everywhere and they’ve become as popular and as well known around the grounds as he was.

“Woody would always try to help out wherever he could, sorting tickets for his many friends, such was the mark of such a cheerful, friendly bloke. He’ll be missed by Chelsea fans everywhere.

“Rest in peace Andrew Wood. Keep the blue flag flying high.”

Chelsea's Ben Chilwell pays tribute to Andrew 'Woody' Wood after scoring against PalaceReuters
Chelsea's Ben Chilwell pays tribute to Andrew 'Woody' Wood after scoring against PalaceReuters

A crowdfunding page has been set up by friend Anthony Hall to help support Wood’s family, with the Blues supporter leaving behind wife Hayley and their two sons.

At time of writing, the page had generated more than £8,100 of the £10,000 target, with a number of warm tributes left to Wood among the donations.

The donation page can be found here.

Wood was also the club secretary at Derbyshire-based Pinxton Football Club, who said: “Pinxton FC are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our club secretary Andy ‘Woody’ Wood.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends during this difficult time.. May loving memories ease your loss & bring you comfort.”