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Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood (1966 BA Modern History) died on 15 November 2023 aged 76.

Andrew died following a second severe stroke. He had suffered an earlier stroke in 2019 which had left him paralysed down the left side and virtually housebound but he had, at that stage retained all his mental faculties so had retained some quality of life.

Andrew had come to Keble in 1966 to read History and would say that he benefited greatly from the tutelage of Eric Stone. He hailed from Barnsley and was a proud Yorkshireman, particularly when discussing their fine cricket team of the 1960s. He was very much in the High Anglican tradition of Keble and was also politically active in the University Liberal Club, although being very much on the centrist wing of what was, in those days, a very radical grouping.

On leaving Keble, he gave serious thought to being ordained into the priesthood but, in the meantime, became a schoolmaster, teaching in Chichester initially, where he also participated in some lively amateur dramatics. Teaching soon became his calling and, after three years, he accepted a post at Sandbach School in Cheshire, teaching some Latin alongside his History. At the same time, he became disillusioned with the Anglican church and converted to Roman Catholicism, which he practised for the rest of his life.

At Sandbach he rose to become a Head of Year and gained much from the opportunity to provide pastoral guidance. At the same time, although not a cricketer himself, his enthusiasm for the game led to him taking responsibility for Cheshire Schools County teams. He took early retirement from the school as we entered the new Millennium (though he continued to offer himself to the county as a supply teacher) in order to pursue other interests. These included his work as a Liberal Democrat on the Town Council, in the Planning department. He decided to learn Greek, to take up playing Bridge in a U3A group and also organised bookings and transport for those in Sandbach wishing to attend concerts given by the Halle in Manchester.

Although he remained single all his life, he always loved good company, good food and wine and good beer — he was a member both of the Wine Society and of CAMRA — and was also a great walker. His summer holidays were often spent walking with groups in Greece, Greek Islands, Italy or France, while closer to home he completed both the Gritstone Trail and the Sandstone Trail. Lacking that facility in his last years was a great frustration to him.

Before 2019, Christmas would often see him travelling to Perth in Australia, where his sister Judith pre-deceased him, but he is survived by his brother-in-law Roger and his niece Helen who, despite a high-profile role in academia, was instrumental in offering him much support in the final years.

He will be much missed by them, by his many friends, and by his ex-colleagues.

Kindly provided by his friends