ONE of Wokingham’s sporting greats has died.
John Wood, who ran John Wood Sports in Market Place from 1971 through to 2017, passed away on New Year’s Day. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, but also caught covid.
He had just marked his 85th birthday, on Christmas Eve.
A big sports fan, Mr Wood was born in 1935 and remembered the start of the Second World War. Evacuated to Birmingham, he left school at 15, before heading to Fleet Street as an apprentice. He then did his National Service in the Medical Corps and served in Germany.
From an early age, he was a keen footballer, playing for Fulham Juniors in 1951/52, then at Wimbledon in 1952-56 and Sutton United in 1957-60.
He also opened a squash club in 1975, helped create Wokingham’s first skateboard park, and worked on the town’s half-marathon.
When closing his store, he told Wokingham.Today that he had served generations of customers: “It’s the end of an era. Children came in and then they grew up and come back for their children’s football boots”.
Mr Wood was a passionate support of the local sports scene, serving as chair of Finchampstead Sports Club for more than 30 years.
The full story will be in Thursday’s print edition of Wokingham.Today, on sale from all good newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations (all essential retailers).