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FOOTBALL: Sky Blues legend Alf Wood dies at 86.

FORMER Coventry City goalkeeper Alf Wood has died at the age of 86.

Although he hailed from Aldridge in Staffordshire, he had lived in Coventry for more than 65 years and died yesterday in the Aberdale care home in Holyhead Road. He leaves a son, Robin.

Alf made his debut in 1938 and was a superb servant to the club, playing 246 games plus 96 wartime appearances.

Between August 1945 and May 1951 he set a club record by playing in 260 consecutive games but later that year, at the age of 36, he was given a free transfer and joined Northampton Town.

He returned to Highfield Road in 1955 in a coaching capacity but injuries forced him to play three games.

Then, in 1958, the 43-year old Wood was called out of retirement because of an injury to first-team keeper Jim Sanders. He played 12 games of which City lost only two. He remained on the coaching staff until 1961 when, on the arrival of Jimmy Hill, he left his job.

He later managed Walsall for one season and spent 15 years at Massey Ferguson where he ran the works team.

Former City favourite Steve Ogrizovic said today: "Although he was a bit before my time I know that he was a fearless keeper, never scared to put his face where other people would only put their feet. He's a legend and he always will be - I am very sorry to hear about his death.

"He was a very nice person and up until a few years ago he was still coaching kids in the Coventry Community Scheme. He had a great enthusiasm for the game, always had a sense of humour and kept himself very fit."

Yesterday's news follows the recent deaths of ex City keepers Reg Matthews, Arthur Lightning and Les Sealey, and Ogrizovic added: "It's tragic to see so many past heroes pass on in such a short period of time."

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HERO: Alf Wood in his City prime
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 18, 2001
Words:334
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