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Woodward, voice of Romford greyhound racing, leaves role after successful 26-year stint

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 October 2020

Romford Greyhound racing commentator Steve Woodward on his final day (Pic: Karen McMillan)

Romford Greyhound racing commentator Steve Woodward on his final day (Pic: Karen McMillan)

Archant

One of the most recognisable voices in greyhound racing, Steve Woodward, has left his role as Romford Stadium’s racing commentator after 26 years of incredible service.

The long-serving announcer, who made Friday and Saturday night racing at Romford special, has decided to move back up north to spend time with his family.

“I’m moving back up to Accrington to spend some time with my parents, who are thankfully in good health but in the autumn of their days,” said Woodward.

“I’ve exchanged contracts on the sale of my house in Essex and that’s due to go through, so Thursday was my last day at Romford.”

While the decision is mainly family-motivated, Woodward conceded that other factors had played a part, adding: “I’ve perhaps not been enjoying it as much as I once did. It will be strange not turning up at Romford on a Friday and Saturday night, but until it happens I have no idea whether I’ll really miss it or not.”

Woodward has always cited Palace Issue’s short-head victory over Woodbrook Wine in the 2000 Champion Stakes Final as his favourite call, although two more recent ones also pleased him.

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“I really enjoyed the Champion Stake when Smallmead got up to beat Desperado Dan, even if I was a little disappointed with myself that I didn’t call her the winner as they crossed the line,” he added.

“I was 90 per cent certain she had won, but I guess that 10 per cent nagged away at me and I didn’t want to be remembered for getting such a big race wrong.

“And the Cesarewitch won by Aayamza Royale was a great race to call even if it’s nearly a minute long. Thankfully I didn’t have a coughing fit at the end of it like I did one night a few months ago with Jason Barrasford in the RPGTV studio where they was concerned about my well-being.

“Given that those two races that I mention were within the last month, I’d like to think I’m leaving at the top of my game. I’d like to thank everyone involved with the stadium who have been so kind and complimentary towards me over the years.”

Romford racing manager Mark Arkell paid tribute to Woodward, saying: “It will be a real shame to lose the voice of Romford.

“Steve’s been here for 26 years and will be missed. He makes our evening meetings special and it won’t be the same without him.”

Stadium manager Karen McMillan added: “I would like to wish Steve all the best, he is definitely a character and will be missed at the stadium as the voice of Romford, it won’t be the same without him.”


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