Come Dine With Us – Hawkins

Grahams United In Best Of Causes

Graham Hawkins, as pictured by us in the summer of 2009 just after his diagnosis.

Graham Hawkins is organising fund-raising charity dinners at Molineux and Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow Stadium after revealing that he has been fighting cancer for the last two and a half years.

The former Wolves defender and manager, also a boyhood fan of the club, was diagnosed in August, 2009, with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma but is only now going public on the matter.

And, to coincide with the imminent opening of a new cancer unit at Shrewsbury’s Royal Hospital, where he has undergone his chemotherapy, he is doing his bit in the battle to generate much-needed money with which to support the NHS.

Hawkins has already enlisted the help of Shrewsbury and ex-Molineux boss Graham Turner for the functions at the Greenhous Meadow on Thursday, July 5, and at Wolves on Thursday, October 11.

“Graham and I will be speaking at the two dinners, relating a few anecdotes and memories from our long careers in the game,” he said today. “He has been as good as gold in agreeing to attend free of charge and I’m grateful that he agrees with me what a good cause it is.

“All my family now know I’ve been having treatment and I want to put something back in as a thank-you for the wonderful help I’ve had. I’ve seen cases, like the very sick 12-year-old girl who is a Wolves fan, that have made me so keen to act.

“A lot of equipment and facilities, such as a shop called Fresh Hair, where wigs and hairpieces are on sale for chemotherapy patients, are provided as a result of charity and fund-raising efforts. By no means everything is available through the National Health System. If we can raise a good sum, it will please me no end.”

Hawkins worked at Turner’s side from 1980-82, being appointed as his coach and then assistant at Shrewsbury. In turn, they then each served as Wolves manager, with Hawkins pulling off a thoroughly unexpected Second Division promotion triumph against a background of financial uncertainty in 1982-83.

Now 66 and not long retired from the youth role he filled at the Football League for well over a decade, he has been to this season’s Wolves v Tottenham game with his specialist.

“I was being prepared for hernia surgery when they discovered I had this other problem,” he added. “I couldn’t tell there was anything wrong, so I was lucky I was being looked at anyway, otherwise it would have taken longer to be discovered.

“The words ‘in remission’ haven’t been used to me but I now have six months between scans and my next one is in August. I’m doing okay but have been told this type of lymphoma usually comes back – maybe in ten years, maybe in five. I am looking for the miracle.

“I have to say the two clubs have been extremely helpful in supporting what I’m doing, so I’m grateful to them. I have also got my son Ian’s independent financial advice company, EGF, to sponsor the one at Molineux, which means anything that comes in from that one is profit.”

As Wolves manager in the early 1980s....a signed photo.

Hawkins, who also had stem cell treatment at Birmingham’s QE Hospital, is contactable at graham.hawkins6@btinternet.com and on 07760-993866. Cheques and donations should be made payable to the Cancer Patient Care Fund.

Tables of ten for the three-course dinners cost £350, although smaller units are available at £35 each. Local comedian and avid Wolves fan Ian ‘Sludge’ Lees will also be present as part of the entertainment.

Wolves Heroes plan to support this event and hope some of our loyal readers will be able to do likewise, so please spread the word.

 

 

 

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