Tributes paid to ‘Mum Witch’ Ruby Woods

Ruby Woods, pictured with John Louis in 2011

Ruby Woods, pictured with John Louis in 2011 - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to ‘Mum Witch’ Ruby Woods following the death of the popular 94-year-old who was a dedicated speedway fan. Ruby was one of the club’s most loyal supporters.

Ruby Woods, pictured with the 2011 Witches.

Ruby Woods, pictured with the 2011 Witches. - Credit: Archant

The great-grandmother has been a regular at Foxhall Stadium since the club was founded in 1950.

She used to call the Witches “my boys” and would shower them with sweets and affection before and after meetings. She continued to go each Thursday night at Foxhall, right up into her 90s.

“She was a lovely lady,” John Louis, Witches promoter, said.

“When I was riding, because she lived near me, she would come round my house and take my leathers and boots after meetings and take them home to clean them.

Ruby Woods with former Witch and speedway legend Tony Rickardsson.

Ruby Woods with former Witch and speedway legend Tony Rickardsson. - Credit: Archant

“She used to bike round on one of those bikes with a basket at the front and head off with my stuff. It was always cleaned immaculately.”

Ruby had three children, Francis, Rosemary and Carolyn, who all went to speedway.

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“My dad, Robert, was very much into his speedway,” Francis said.

“I think he used to go to Norwich, but when Ipswich opened, he took mum to Foxhall. She went from then on, even after dad died in 1973.

“Some of her favourite riders were Tich Read, Bob Sharpe and in later times, John Louis, Billy Sanders and Tony Rickardsson.

“I think she kept in touch with Billy’s mum, even after Billy’s death.”

Speaking in 2011 on one of her last visits to Foxhall, Ruby said: “When I first went to a meeting I was captivated. I love the smells, the colours and the sounds of all the engines revving.

“Before every meeting I say a little prayer to make sure that the riders stay safe. I bring my lucky teddy bear Charlie and stand right by the pits so I can give the riders sweets to keep them happy.”

Ruby stopped going to Foxhall soon after, but she will always be “Mum Witch”, loved and adored by Witches riders over the years.

Her funeral will take place on Wednesday, January 6, at 11am, at Rushmere St Andrews Church.

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