Chris Wood calls for Kiwi unity after Christchurch terror attack

Chris Wood has spoken about the effect on him of last month’s terrorist attack in his home country of New Zealand.

The Burnley striker, who has been capped more than 50 times by the All Whites, was born in Auckland and began his footballing career in the country before moving to West Brom in 2008.

Fifty people were killed on March 15 when a gunman opened fire on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, and Wood said: “It’s a horrible tragedy what’s happened and the whole of the country’s behind everybody that was affected.

“It just shows it happens everywhere in the world.”

Asked if it had been hard to stay focused on football, Wood, who has scored 10
goals this season, said: “It would have been harder if it was people I knew.

“There were people connected with New Zealand football and things like that, which isn’t great, but it doesn’t matter who it was, it’s still the New Zealand community and they’re still New Zealand residents.

“They were supposed to be safe in our country and we failed to live up to that so it’s about getting together as a nation again and rebuilding and helping out.

“My family are still out there – my sister, grandparents, auntie, uncles live up and down the country and I know a lot of people who do live in Christchurch and were around at the time. I’ve spoken to them, sent my love and condolences, and I hope they can help get everybody back stronger.”

Burnley go into this weekend’s clash with Bournemouth buoyed by last Saturday’s victory over Wolves, which pulled them five points clear of Cardiff in the final relegation spot.

The Clarets defeated Bournemouth 4-0 at home earlier this season and will hope to take advantage of the fact the Cherries have only won one of their last eight matches.

Wood said: “We just take it game by game. If we win at the weekend, it puts us another step closer, if we get a point, it’s another step closer.

“You want to get clear and safe as soon as possible. We can’t think about what other people can do, we don’t have a hand in their business. If we do the right stuff, we’ll be fine.”

After taking on Bournemouth, Burnley face Cardiff at Turf Moor in a game that could be crucial to both teams’ survival chances, but Wood played down the significance.

He said: “We’ve taken points off the big four teams this season and, if we have to do it again, I’m sure we can. It’s just another game. It’s bigger for them I guess than us because we’ve got the cushion.”

Burnley will be without striker Peter Crouch on Saturday after he underwent appendix surgery.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

Serving quality football news from around the globe. No click-bait.