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Colin Wooff

13th April 1928 – 28th October 2021

If you knew Colin, then you knew Colin. A gentleman of utmost integrity, gentle humour, honesty and above all, his word. He adored his wife Brenda, loved his family and held his friends dear. A man you would be better for knowing and richer for talking to.

Colin was born in Croydon and grew up in the east end of London in East Ham. An orphan at just 16 months, he was born just after the General Strike of 1926, grew up in the years of the Great Depression, endured some of the worst bombing in London during the Second World War and generally had not the easiest start to life. His descriptions of those days are so matter of fact, but singularly terrifying in the casualness that he describes them. He served with the Air Training Corps from the age of 14, where he learned to handle himself in the boxing ring. He was called up in January 1946 for the RAF at the age of 17 ¾. He was particularly taken with a young lady he met at a dance when stationed at West Kirby, Liverpool in 1947. They married in September 1949, the young lady was Brenda and the rest they say is history.

His interest in archery started when his youngest son, Malcolm, decided that was what he wanted to do after seeing a programme on the television in 1971. At the time the headquarters of the Grand National Archery Society were in Baddow Road, Chelmsford so he decided to go and give John and Mary Bray a visit. From that point they became instant friends. Malcolm joined Chelmsford Company of Archers, soon followed by Colin, Malcolm’s mother Brenda, his eldest brother Michael and younger sister Sue.

Colin’s interests soon turned to helping others and his thirst to understand the technicalities and physiology of the sport lead him into coaching and he qualified as a County Coach and Regional Coach shortly after. His passion was for making the sport accessible to all, regardless of physical or mental ability. He and Brenda spent many years teaching archery on a Saturday morning at Dovedale sports centre and concocted all kinds of assistance aids to make the delivery and sense of achievement for their proteges so much greater. Colin was very handy and what he couldn’t build with a bit of ply, a length of dowelling rod, a couple of hinges and some felt wasn’t worth talking about.

He made cases and arrow racks for the family and was duly appointed (unopposed) as equipment officer, coach and driver.

Colin soon got caught up in the call for volunteers for the 1978 European Target Championships at Stoneleigh. Friendships made there were to last for a lifetime. Similarly, he was extensively involved with the staging of the 1989 Junior European Championships in Bedford and organisation of the Junior National Championships and Home Internationals. He attended GNAS AGM’s religiously each year.

By this stage Colin was also heavily involved in judging and progressed through to be a County and Regional Judge. Happily participating for the day or the weekend for an unsolicited bottle of sparkling Liebfraumilch or Blue Nun. This became an annual tradition in the Wooff household when these fine examples of viniculture were presented at the Christmas dinner table and thanks were offered up to the tournament organiser.

He had a real passion for the history and forms of archery and an immense regard for custom and tradition. He loved any reading material on the subject and held authors such as Robert Hardy in great regard. He loved to send and receive cards that had pictures of anything remotely associated with archery. It was indeed his passion.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, he was asked to teach archery to Bobby George (large man of World darts fame), his proudest challenge, however was to do the same with Frank Bruno (even larger man of boxing fame). The only problem with Frank was to stop him from laughing. Every time he laughed the arrow came off the rest. It was a big laugh and an even bigger, special order arrow, for his significant reach - officially 208cm (according to Google).

His drive to serve the sport he loved saw him elected to positions on club committees at Chelmsford Company of Archers and Southend Electricity Archery Club, where he was a founding member and within ECAA itself as Chairman. He was so especially proud of the fact that the County had recognised his service and presented him with a Red Tassel and an honorary lifetime membership. To him that anyone should want to acknowledge him was “beyond belief”.

He loved the characters within the County and so many larger than life, wonderful people – Bill Tucker, the Wrights, the Majors, the Sibleys, the Hawkins, the Butchers, Andy Harris, Jack Secombes……and Thelma Davidson and so many more. This list is not exhaustive, but is full of wonderful people that gave Colin so much encouragement and a sense of community.

Colin passed away peacefully at his home in Newmarket, at the age of 93. 

A funeral service is to be held on Wednesday 17th November 2021,  at 12.00pm. Cam Valley Crematorium, Saffron Walden.

Donations to St Nicholas’ Hospice, Bury St Edmonds care of Southgate of Newmarket Funeral Directors

We received this sad news this morning and will be posting any further information about the funeral as soon as we have it.

Hello, just reaching out to let you know that my father Colin Wooff passed away on 28th October at home, aged 93. 

He was a contributor to ECAA for many years and a red tassel awardee. He held pretty much every position on the County’s committee at some point during his life and was a great friend of Graham Sibley, Andy Harris, Bill Tucker and of course Brian Wright, Chris Smith and Tom and Iris Major. I understand that only a few of that illustrious list remain with us. 

I myself shot for my club, county and country as both a junior and senior member of ECAA when my name was also Wooff.

I now live in Australia and cannot travel back for his funeral and I have lost touch with the world of county archery, can you tell me if you place announcements or obituaries in your publications that I might be able to let people know and certainly ask those who might remember him if they would like to attend his funeral or like me, join an online webcast.

Many thanks,
Sue Dickson née Wooff

Hello all

The Inter-Counties Portsmouth postal league is running again this year, see additional information posted on the Shooting->Leagues->SCAS Inter-Counties Leage page.

Please continue to you submit your scores via the ECAA website as in previous years and do not send anything to the organisers. 

I will collate the scores and them submit them.

This runs from October so anything you have from this month is usable 

Many thanks and good luck

Team manager