Where do you begin to describe the accomplishments of Belleville’s Dr. Tom Woodley? On the tennis courts? The soccer fields? Or on the ice? What other man can honestly be called one of the founding fathers of not one, but two sports in this city – soccer and tennis?
Born in Belleville in 1926, Woodley was educated at Queen Mary and Belleville Collegiate before studying medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston. He returned to his hometown after graduation and set up a practice he continues to this day. Almost immediately he became involved in the Quinte Tennis Club and played a leading role in transforming the club’s playing surface from crushed rock to clay. In the 1970s he would turn to soccer and specifically the Belleville Youth Soccer Club. When Woodley began, about 300 children in Belleville were involved in the game. In 1997 that number had climbed to 1,400.
Not just an organizer, Woodley was also a top notch soccer official. Woodley has also worked at just about every level for the Belleville Minor Hockey Association, including acting as a coach, referee and sponsor. He was also an Ontario Minor Hockey Association trainer instructor. From 1975 to 1988 he was president of the Quinte Tennis Club and from 1977 to 1987 he assumed the same role with Belleville Minor Soccer. Woodley was president of the Bay of Quinte Soccer League for two years and a referee.
Like many other “builders” in the Hall, Woodley gave of his time freely and asked for nothing in return except his enjoyment of the game, or in his case, games. His family includes wife Frances and sons Brian, Robert, Glen, Scott, Alan, Larry and Mark and daughter Lynne.0