Colin Greenwood (right) receiving his 'World Ambassador for Shooting Sports' award in 2009
1931 - 2017
On November 10th 2017 the Gun Trade lost one of its most tireless champions and defenders, Colin Greenwood. His enthusiasm for shooting sports of all kinds was boundless and his firm belief in people’s right to take part in these activities unshakeable.
Colin was born as 1931 was coming to an end, on December 31st, in Cornholme, West Yorkshire and, having attended local schools, left to work in the mills at the age of 14. At the age of 18, he followed his elder brother Kenneth into the Coldstream Guards, the oldest serving regiment in the British Army where he served for 6 years.
On leaving the army, Colin joined the West Riding Constabulary, where his grandfather had served before him, and it was there that he met Pauline, whom he married in 1955. During his time in the police force, he became a Research Fellow at Cambridge University, Institute of Criminology and published a book “Firearms Control” and this became a topic which would take up his energy and considerable intellect for the rest of his life.
Colin left the police after 25 years in 1979, having reached the rank of Superintendent and became editor of ‘Guns Review’, combining this with work as an expert witness as firearms consultant. It was about this time that Colin became the permanent consultant to the newly formed ‘Shooting Sports Trust’, an association of manufacturers and importers of firearms and ammunition, which came together to fight the 1979 ‘Green Paper’ proposing controls on firearms.
For the next thirty four years, Colin worked tirelessly for the Gun Trade in one form or another; he was a regular member of the Practitioners’ Group for the British Shooting Sports Council, and his role as consultant to the SST continued when the SST and GTA merged in 2007. He was also a key contributor to the Firearms Consultative Committee, the statutory body set up in the wake of the 1997 Dunblane tragedy.
Throughout all this time, Colin researched and produced an immense amount of work on behalf of the gun trade and shooting sports. The quality of his work was of the very highest order and his command of statistics was second to none. His style was direct, some might say confrontational, but he was a man of absolute conviction and he was prepared to challenge any threat to the sport he loved so much. In March 2009 the ‘World Forum on Shooting Activities’ gave him the title of World Ambassador for Shooting Sports at an award ceremony in Nuremburg - a richly deserved accolade. He retired in 2014 to spend some well-deserved time with his family.
Away from work, Colin enjoyed almost every aspect of shooting, whether it was clay shooting with his local club, game shooting or hunting in almost every corner of the world. He was known for his congenial personality, for his sense of humour and his passion for the things about which he felt strongly. Above all, Colin’s life was one which could be summed up by the worlds ‘duty’ and ‘service’ and he exemplified the best aspects of each quality, whether as a soldier, a police officer or in his dedication to the gun trade. We have lost a great man.
Edward King, December 2017