Tony Woodward - A Tribute

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It is nearly two weeks since the sad passing of OGCC player, member and friend Tony Woodward.

 

Tony and his friend, Bob Archer, were found with the wreckage of their plane after it failed to arrive in Carlisle on Thursday. They had left Oban after completing the 9.5 hour fundraising challenge for the Shooting Star Chase children's charity.

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The mark Woody has left on Odiham & Greywell Cricket Club is significant. Playing for many years, hosting enjoyable quiz nights, compering marquee visits of the PCA and Lashings plus the delicious contributions to many teas. Woody will be missed by everyone at the club.

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1st XI Captain, Phil Thomas, has reflected on his memories of Tony:

‘Woody was one of those special and dedicated members to OGCC, his passion for teas was second to none, even if his concoction of different style breads were not to the liking of our young players!!

I had the pleasure of playing with Tony in many a game and enjoyed some of his amazing travelling stories and shared so many laughs on dull Saturdays during rain affected games! He knew how to make an entrance, with one sticking in my mind from the day he turned out in the first team.... he had just bought his new electric car and was like a kid with a new toy, whizzing it around the grounds of Bramshill police college etc. As we drove back to the club, he realised he needed more charge to get himself home, so instead of parking normally in the car park and maybe running an extension lead to the car, he decided to run the car around the outfield of Odiham all the way to the front of the veranda (which was packed) and park up and plug in at the bottom of the steps!!!

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He was also in the team on my first ever senior game at OGCC, and he was the kind of person you wanted around to calm the nerves and reassure you. I remember him saying to me whilst going out to bat with him "always believe in yourself and you are never down until it's over ' and sure enough, against a team from somewhere in the Thames Valley, we managed to chase down the last 45 runs for the last wicket!!

On a personal note, he was one of the most organised and inspiring men. When the club burnt down and we were desperately trying to get some fundraising ideas going, we decided to do the quiz and auction night. He lead from the front as the famous 'quiz master' he was and then continued to raise thousands of pounds, not at least the £100 he bid on 3 famous OGCC coffee mugs!!!!

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He was a massive character , and some will say he was one in a million. A true loss to any family and club!’

 

3rd XI Captain, St John Cox has played alongside Woody on many occasions and has also taken time to reflect on Tony’s contributions.

I loved playing cricket with Woody as, win lose or draw, you were guaranteed a laugh every time you took the field with him. He was the sort of character who could mercilessly take the piss out of you without ever causing offence. The term he used most when talking to me was "buffoon" and I loved him for it.

Woody was very proud of his electric car and would bore us all with how fantastic it was, before then asking for a lift to any away game more than about 5 miles away as his car couldn't get us there and back!

I especially liked playing with Woody when we were at home due to his tea contributions. When playing for the 3rd XI you are often asked to make a contribution towards the teas in lieu of match fees. For some this would involve throwing some processed ham at a sliced loaf and throwing it in a bag, not for Woody however. Woody would start his tea contribution on the Friday evening by baking an artisan loaf of bread and taking pictures of it as it cooled to put up on Facebook to remind us all of our culinary inadequacy. The following morning he would go to his garden to select appropriate produce to go into his sandwiches this would always include at least one of his home grown and very fiery chillies. Whatever else was going in the sandwich was of no concern, it was going in with chilli! Woody was the first person to introduce me to cheese and chilli sandwiches and these still form a part of my staple diet.

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In memory of Woody I will be putting up a prize for 3rd XI players to be awarded at annual prize giving. This will be for the player who can make the best and tastiest contribution to the 3rd XI teas.’

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