YOU’D struggle to find a better bloke than Peter Wood.
His smile would light up a room and he was the first one to put up his hand to help out.
The 67-year-old died suddenly late last week.
His death has sent shockwaves through the south-west sporting community.
Killarney Cricket Club secretary Brendan Chatfield said he was devastated by the news. “He was a true gentleman, he was a great fellow who would always help out,” Mr Chatfield said.
“He put everyone else before himself."
A month ago he was on top of the world, after Killarney’s C grade team won its second consecutive premiership in the Grassmere Cricket Association.
“He was rapt,” Mr Chatfield said.
“He was out there batting and helped us get over the line.”
As was tradition, Mr Wood celebrated with his teammates over a few beers.
He joked to his fellow players that most of them wouldn’t have been born when he began his cricket career.
Mr Chatfield said Mr Wood had also stepped up and played a number of A grade matches this season.
One of Mr Wood’s closest mates, Neil Bourke, was shocked to hear of his friend’s passing. “He would always help everybody,” Mr Bourke said. “He was a guy that if Korea started World War III he would be the first one in the trenches with you.”
Mr Bourke and Mr Wood were both involved with the Allansford football club for some years. “He loved his kids and family and he loved sport,” he said.
The pair also shared a birthday – August 23 – and always spoke on that day.
“I’d always ring him at 5.30 in the morning to try and beat him,” Mr Bourke said.
“We’d talk about our kids, real estate, footy and the problems of the world.”
One topic that was off limits was Mr Wood’s beloved ‘Pies.
“I never spoke about Collingwood because I knew it would be a one-eyed conversation,” Mr Bourke said.
“If he spoke about Collingwood I would hang up.”
Mr Bourke will have a few beers in memory of his friend on their birthday this year.
Former Panmure football coach Simon O’Keefe also has fond memories of Mr Wood.
“He was a genuine bloke,” Mr O’Keefe said.
He remembered being visited by Mr Wood and Jack Ryan, who encouraged him to take on the coaching role at the club.
“Within 10 minutes I knew I was going to be coaching Panmure,” Mr O’Keefe said.
“He was a great supporter – he was my right hand man.”
Mr O’Keefe said nothing would be too much of an ask for Mr Wood, whether it be helping a young player or running water in a match.
“I saw him a couple of weeks ago and we had a few beers,” Mr O’Keefe said.
“I was building a shed at home and he came around and gave me a hand.”
Mr O’Keefe said you couldn’t meet a better bloke.
“You could spend six months with him 24 hours a day and you wouldn’t get sick of him,” he said.
Mr Wood is survived by his daughters Natalie, Annalee, Ebony and son Ben.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.