June 17, 1925
Spruce and sprightly William Wood has passed to his rest with a tragic suddenness that will surprise all his friends, and their name was legion. A cheery spirit, he had formed a large number of acquaintances in his bowling, football, and athletic circles, and in racing he had a bigger vogue than many people ever understood.
In later years he became a director of Liverpool Football Club, taking the place vacated by the late Mr. John Hill, but whereas John was not a strong man physically, William Wood, who carried his 51 years very lightly, was strongly-built and looked good for many years.
I feel his loss greatly for I had been brought into close touch with him in the various travels in connection with sport. I missed him at Epsom, but I believe he was there, but apparently some malign fate took a hold on him when he attended the annual meeting of the F.A. and Football League. He never really recovered from his journey and had been bedridden (practically) ever since that time, pneumonia being the cause of his untimely death.
Mr. Wood was a splendid raceonteur, and his Liverpool tales, with the brogue rolled out thick and deep, used to entrance me. They made a long journey from Cardiff to Liverpool seem a mere Wirral railway effort. He would become confidential in such journeys, and I liked nothing better than his story of how he unwittingly had to carry a big bet for a jockey who must be nameless, but who is world-wide in his fame. Let me give you the bare outline of the story.
Mr. Wood was an fait with the speculating game, and was often called in by stables and others to work a commission. He was, you will see, thoroughly trustworthy, and it was known that his word was his bond, and his turf transactions could be left without fear, which is not the common way of racing life, you must understand.
Thus did Mr. Wood get a request for a big sum on a certain horse. He duly executed the commission at 20 to 1, but the other folk forgot about their promise to phone through to Mr. Wood, who was eventually left, willy-nilly, with the big bet on his own.
He did not want it, but fortunately for him the horse rolled home a winner and thus Mr. Wood was able to buy a new hotel in the town – he had three.I remember him also as a guide and friend to Mr. Fee McArdle, the “mystery” man, whom you remember the “Sporting Echo” revealed as having won £33,000 from a “tenner,” some three years ago. Mr. Wood was “at the back of Mr. McArdle.”
Billy was a joyous friend, a staunch man of sporting character, and his end was so sudden that it came as a great shock. In your name I offer his mother and brothers and sisters sympathetic condolence.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 18, 1925)
Liverpool Echo: June 19, 1925.