Racing: Funeral of Steve Wood

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The Independent Online
STEVE WOOD, the jockey who was killed in a fall at Lingfield last week, was buried yesterday at Easingwold, near York.

Four jockeys carried their fallen colleague's coffin into the town's Methodist church, which was crammed with mourners who crowded into corridors and ante-rooms to hear the service for the 26-year-old rider.

Lord Oaksey, a founder member of the Injured Jockeys' Fund, gave the address. He said that Wood, although small in stature, was 'strong, fearless, cool and had a shrewd tactical brain.

'Some have written that Wood would never have made a champion jockey - the same had been written about Willie Carson.

'For a man who never stood 5ft and weighed only 7st soaking wet, 'Samson' (his nickname in racing) was plenty good enough. Steve was by nature a shy, rather solitary man and even travelled by himself to races, sitting alone and quiet in the changing rooms. But I know how much he was liked and respected by his colleagues in the weighing room.

'He was a thoroughly nice and deservedly popular man,' Lord Oaksey said. 'Now his colleagues were left to ask: 'Why did it happen? Why did fate play such a dirty trick on such a man?'