For those who knew him no words are needed to describe him but for those who dont i will try and paint a picture of the man who earned “Legend” status for so many of us.
I think i first got to know Nick back in the AWDC Howlin Wolf and 4×4 Adventures Winch Challenge Days, even back then Nick was a huge larger than life character who could always find a joke and make people laugh at the most random things and never took things too seriously except for his partying and off course entertainment that is.
In 2012 When Jerry had the silly idea and the Xtrem being born Nick got to hear about it and was straight on the phone with words that cant be typed but it all summed up to there is £500 winging its way to you to start the event off and keep me a spot when entries go live and for that 1 memory alone was something i will never forget and will always be thankful for. he not only supported myself but many other events seen the Wooldridge Demolition Logo and more of late The Black Bear Logo he even had his own event “The Wooldridge Trophy” which was hosted by a few different 4×4 organisers over the years.
There are not many people who have competed in so many different events and in so many countries in so many different cars although Nicks weapon of choice the trusty Tractor can tell a story or 10 just by looking at all the event stickers from all over the UK & Europe on there ive forgotten what colour it was as there are so many lol.
He even had a team of co drivers and trusty mechanics and an entourage where ever he went 1 of which Kimi who was closer than close to Nick who was his voice of reason and we all will have things from different events that will always stick in your mind but for me 1 was March Madness 2012 when Nick had blown a diff during the Saturday and was struggling to keep up and as it was a team event he would hate to leave anyone down so he sent Kimi from Bridgnorth to home to collect parts then he drove back to site and rebuilt and fixed the car just in time for Nick to wake up and carry on competing amazing dedication to people and the sport.
Some of his friendships were a little strange but thicker than blood i cant name them all as its not fair and i will miss some out but answer me 1 thing when your in a team event you work as a team right??? #wrong even when he teamed up with Seamus they still tried to beat each other Dragons wood 2018 was a classic for it SS10 Seamus was lead car Nick was 2nd car so when in a team event you work as a team nope not these 2 I was there and seen Seamus rush to the end and wait there shouting at him to hurry up to which i said but your a team his answer was i dont care about team work ive just beaten Nick and this was seen every where Nick would often say i dont care where i come as long as i beat Seamus and guess what Seamus said i dont care where i come as long as i beat Nick the pair of them were as thick as thieves and the respect those 2 guys had was breathtaking.
He has sponsored every Xtrem and even the new ONE50 but in true Nick fashion there was always a catch which was normally make sure im Number 1 please ……….. he also competed at every Xtrem except 1 when he had a surprise holiday booked with the lads to go skiing and was torn between both.
2017 Nick found out he had Cancer and his fight started and in true bear form he took it be both horns and run with it even when he had his surgery he would send me random pics of what he was going through and tbh with you most people would have given up but nope he just kept fighting and was doing so well even getting back in the driving seat and doing what he done best. But the bloody thing come back with a vengeance and he rang me late 1 night around Christmas time to tell me the news and you instantly think why you again but this time it was having a proper go and even with the best specialists he could find and any other thing they could do it was slowly beating the big bear down.
2019 event was in full swing and even when he was really ill he wanted to compete its what he loved to do but his body had other ideas and didnt want to play but i had made a promise to him that he would start my event and what better way than for myself and Jordan to run the warm up clutching a steering wheel and we didnt come last either the atmosphere gave me goose bumps as well as a few tears. But all was not lost Nick turned up Saturday morning and had a guided tour and then the magic happened Seamus and Tom had a Nick Day and the event kind of just stopped and people just chilled and got social and mingled it was great to see. and of course nick was kind of trying to get about as best he could but he was in a serious amount of pain and was cold but he was still bloody smiling and cracking jokes even being the true gentleman he was by helping Shell out of the car by opening the door for her.
One silly suggestion lead to Myself and Nick doing a section in a rental truck with me blindfolded and Nick in the co-dog seat what could possibly go wrong.?.?.?.? to be fair we managed to get over 2 thirds of the way round until his co driving skills fell out of the window literally ( i just wish you could have heard the conversation ) any way to cut a long story short before we both knew it and after Nicks words of wisdom ” We Got This Babyyyyyy ” yip you guessed it we ended up doing a gentle roll with the 2 of us being suspended in our harnesses on our side. I took my googles off to find Nick smiling at me saying that didnt work then……………..
A few days after the event Myself and a few others were lucky enough to pay Nick a visit to give him an album that i had put together as a memento of #xtrem19 plus hand over Doatley the Dragon who was bought for him buy Wil Webster of Goodwinch hes a good bloke really………….
I found myself and many others on 5th April 2019 in the surreal situation of being at Nicks celebration of his life this day will always be remembered by many with many 100’s of people coming together for the most B-E-A-UTIFUL! service i had the honour and privilege of attending I would like to take this opportunity of thanking his family for allowing us his off-road family to be a part of this special day.
And yes as i write this im not ashamed to say tears still flow. We will always carry on Nicks name at all of the Welsh Events and i know he will be there with us with a cheeky bottle of red
Nick my man you are and always will be the Legend ” The Big Black Bear “
As you said to me on the phone “Nobby Thanks for everything you done for me and I love you Mate”
And from me thanks for everything you done for me, The Welsh plus Off Road Motorsport across Europe
Love you too Mate Nobby XxX
Some people just can’t help making a difference in our lives
By simply being who they are.
They make the world a little brighter,
A little warmer,
A little better.
And when they are gone we realise
How lucky we are to have known them.
The Amazing 360 video from the Warm Up from the guys and girls of Moose Off road and Full Throttle Productions
Just remember Nothing Else Matters……………..this will be the theme song played at all our events in memory of Nick