On Thursday morning we lost one our club stalwarts, as Head Turnstileman Eric Woodfine passed away in his sleep.
A player at the Racecourse in his youth, when he turned out for the ‘B’ team in the 1950’s, until an injury put pay to a promising career. But following his recovery, he was invited by long-serving secretary Cliff Lloyd to assist with matchday duties.
A role he has been doing ever since, whether it was manning turnstiles, organising the programme sellers or working with the lottery department – he covered most aspects of the club in over 60 years’ service.
Eric rose to take over as Head of the Turnstiles and for as long as anyone can remember, he has been busy on matchdays distributing his staff (and their floats) around the ground and then counting the cash as it came back in.
A role that meant he would never see the first half of a game and often only the tail end of matches.
He also kept the family tradition going, with both his son and grandson working on the turnstiles at the Racecourse.
Born at the end of the 1920’s, he served his National Service near Norwich, until he asked for a posting closer to home (and the football) – but he only ended up in Singapore!
Eric worked for many years at Shotton Steelworks, but outside of his family, his next love was always Wrexham Football Club.
Never one to shy away when needed, he was near the front of the queue to hand over his money when the club had a £250,000 bond placed on it by the National League and had to raise that sum over a weekend!
Not only working at the ground on matchdays, but Eric was a regular around the Racecourse during the week, as he prepared for the next home match - so he got to know numerous managers and hundreds of players over the years.
He was a one-off and everyone at the Racecourse will sorely miss him.
It goes without saying - we pass on our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.
We will pay a fuller tribute to Eric at the Barrow game.