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Terry Wood

Born: 2 Jan 1929            Died: Oct 2007

Came from: Griffith schoolboys    Went to: Retired

First game: 1945             Last game: 12 Aug 1956

Appearances: 140+         Goals: 68+

Premiership: 1952          League Rep: 6

Terry always had a love for all sports

TERRY Vincent Wood, who died in October, was born at Griffith on January 2, 1929. He was the second youngest of a family of nine siblings to Edgar and Dorothy Wood.

His father, known as Jack, who in addition to owning a barber and tobacconist shop, had made something of a name for himself as a trainer of sportspersons - runners, boxers and billiardists.

It was little wonder Terry's formative years coincided closely with those of sport.

Even as a small boy he was blessed with the national ability to run fast; a fact that did not go unnoticed by his father, a stalwart of the Griffith Australian Football Club.

World War 11 came and went, and on July 1, 1945 at 16 years-of-age, young Terry made his football debut for Griffith in a B grade fixture against Rankins Springs/Binya.

In 1947, under the coaching of Geoff Willis, he found himself on the wing in the seniors.

At 172cm and around 70kg, and with his pace, courage, determination and all-round skill, Terry was ideally suited to the position.

By the end of 1947, be had received the club's most improved player award and was the standout player in Griffith's reserve grade Leeton District Football League premiership win, kicking four goals in the final quarter against Darlington Point.

The following year, Terry first represented South Western District Football League against the Victorian Football League (VFL) at Leeton.

Early in the match, Terry grabbed hold of his opponents (Lou Richards) by the jumper and swung him off his feet.

Richards of Collingwood fame, bounced back up, looked at Terry and snarled: "Why did you do that to me, you little pip squeak".

That's the pot calling the kettle black - little Lou on tiptoes barely stood 170cm.

During that time, Terry was competing in running events around the Riverina and country Victoria.

He ran a brilliant race to win the 1950 Wagga Gift, and he also finished runner-up at Bendigo and Narrandera.

Such was the standard of Terry's play that in 1951 he played against against the VFL, this time for Riverina Select at Narrandera, and at Albury for SWDFL in Keith Shea's memorial match, in 1952 against Ovens and Murray at Leeton, and 1955 against Albury and District.

1952 was a premiership year for Griffith, its first in the South West District Football League.

Terry, playing on the wing, formed part of a great centre-line alongwith Fred Clarke and Jack Shrives.

Terry won the Griffith club best and fairest award in 1954 and 1955. It was around the that he met his true love of his life, Joan Potts, who was to become his dear and darling wife.

The 1957 season was to be Terry's last in the red and white.

For years he was one of Griffith's and the SWDFL's top players, and was now returning something back into the game.

For three seasons, he coached and helped organise two schoolboy teams in the Leeton Zone competition.

His other sporting past-times, whether participating or coaching included cricket, tennis, squash, athletics, swimming and lawn bowls.

So that is Terry Wood; a real sportsman. He had no regrets about anything in his sporting life and loved every minute, including training.

(Riverina Times - 2007)