Programmes Worth Seeing

JR Tribute To Departed Dear Friend

John Richards……fond memories.

John Richards has spoken of his poignant last contact with John Hendley – the hugely popular Wolves historian and programme editor whose passing will be movingly marked at tomorrow’s FA Cup tie with Swansea.

‘Foz’, who died this week aged 67, was never happier on the Molineux payroll than when he had the club’s second leading goalscorer of all time as his ultimate boss.

But his respect for Wolves Heroes’ co-owner stretched far beyond knowing him as a managing director from 1997 to 2000. He idolised him from the terraces as a paying fan in the 1970s and early 1980s and remained a true friend of his until the end, as he did with numerous players of that and other generations.

“I last saw Foz when he popped down to Billy’s Bootroom to say hello to the lads at the Former Players Association get-together at the Ipswich game less than a fortnight ago,” Richards said.

“You just got used to him being around the place and seeing him there……no visit to Molineux would be complete without a chat to him, even it was only for a few minutes.

“I knew him as a work colleague, of course, and he was a one-off in many ways. He was gold and black through and through.

“A friend of my wife’s recently approached us about some Wolves programmes she had to sell and Foz’s eyes lit up when I told him the collection included the one from the Wolves v Grimsby 1939 FA Cup semi-final.

“We were going to meet so he could cast his expert eye over them and suggest an asking price and I actually emailed him on Tuesday morning to ask whether we could meet some time yesterday. Then I had that horrible call on Tuesday afternoon and rang John McAlle straightaway to tell him.

“All the lads loved Foz to bits and have been cut up by the news. He was welcome any time among us and was respected not only for his knowledge about the club but also for his contribution to it in so many ways over several decades. It is unbelievable and very sad that he has so suddenly been taken away.”

Foz had been programme editor at Wolves since the departure of Lorraine Hennessy in 2008, although he had written articles for it on a regular basis for around 20 years prior to that.

Because of festive holiday deadlines, he had done much of the work for tomorrow’s publication as well but a hasty rejig of certain pages was this week done by his colleagues so some personal tributes to him could be included.

As a further sign of respect, there will also be a minute’s applause, a video presentation 15 minutes before kick-off and the wearing of black armbands by Wolves players.

A souvenir well worth having…..

Now that we have lost a good pal and our no 1 sounding board on such matters, if there are any readers who can offer any advice on the value of the Wolves-Grimsby programme, we would love to hear from them and act as middle-men.

“We have looked on ebay as a starting point but I know the serious collectors are always keen to know what the condition is,” Richards added.

“There was nothing about programmes or Wolves that Foz didn’t seem to know. His knowledge was absolutely huge.”

 

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