FORMER Newport Harriers and Welsh international athlete Tom Wood has died at the age of 88.

His contribution to Welsh athletics over six decades was remembered with a minute's silence at last weekend's Welsh Athletics 2014 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Cardiff.

Starting out at Pill Harriers, Mr Wood moved on to Newport Harriers and was part of the team that won the Welsh senior men’s team cross country title no fewer than 14 times between 1949 and 1965.

He also represented Wales in the International Cross Country Championships on six occasions and competed in the marathon at the 1958 Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.

Mr Wood, who was born in Newport and lived there until his death on January 21, went on to be instrumental in the administration and delivery of Welsh veteran athletics.

His service to the sport was recognised by a Meritorious Award plaque from the Welsh AAA, as it then was, in 1967.

At this time he was also president of the Welsh Cross Country Association. And with the development of veteran’s athletics Tom was heavily engaged at both Welsh and United Kingdom levels.

In the latter he served as Welsh representative on the British executive committee and more recently as a life vice president.

In parallel, he was until a few years ago an officer of the Welsh Masters Association from its formation. Initially he served as secretary and then successively as chairman and president.

Up until recently, he was also still a regular competitor in masters events, particularly the annual international master’s cross country match.

He finished fourth in World Veterans Marathon in 1976; recording an impressive time of 2hrs 48mins aged 50.

And he completed the London Marathon on more than one occasion in the 1990s when he was well into his seventies.

Mr Wood’s funeral is on Thursday, February 6, at Croesyceiliog Crematorium at midday.