Signed, Sealed, Delivered

In Via The Post – A Cherished Keepsake

For once, we are posting more as a blog than a news update of any kind, but how’s this for a throwback to past decades, when schoolboys routinely filled autograph books with the signatures of their football heroes?

Players wrote in a much more legible way in those days and many of our readers will be able to identify the stars who have left their mark here.

The pages above – and those lower down this article – belong to Wolves Heroes co-owner David Instone, who was reunited with the treasured keepsakes earlier this season after an absence of 20 years or more.

“I went to Wolves’ game at Manchester United in September with a United-supporting school friend, who happens to be a member there,” he said.

“He remains very proud of his old autograph books, keeps them very much close at hand and by coincidence had shown them to me last summer. At the same time, he persuaded me to dig mine out before we travelled to Old Trafford together.

“I had no idea where they were, so I was delighted to find them buried away in the loft, along with all manner of scrapbooks and programmes.

“My dad had bought me an autograph book when I was six or seven and kindly sent it off in the post on my behalf to Wolves, as well as, in turn, Albion, Villa, Walsall and Stoke.

“There was always the worry that it might not come back and a valuable possession would be lost but, thankfully, it always turned up safe.

“And I took it out with me when I was in my teens, both to local games and to the occasional Test Match and golf tournament I might have attended.

“It’s wonderful now to look at the names of Wolves players who, in quite a few cases, I have got to know extremely well. Les Wilson, for example, is a very good friend who we have been to stay with in Vancouver.

“Wolves seemed to go the extra mile for me because I see the signature of Jimmy Mullen on there and members of the backroom staff such as Joe Gardiner and Jack Dowen have autographed it as well.

“Ted Farmer is another shown, although I am assuming he had probably had to retire by then. The presence of John Holsgrove and Ernie Hunt – but not Mike Bailey or Derek Dougan – makes me think these autographs probably date back to the 1965-66 season.

“I remember feeling absolutely thrilled when it dropped through the letter-box at home – it probably did the rounds at school pretty soon afterwards.”

In case names are difficult to decipher, others we can see are Peter Knowles, Fred Davies, Freddie Goodwin, Dave Woodfield, Joe Wilson, Terry Wharton, Dave Maclaren and Bobby Woodruff, plus some junior players we have profiled on here.

If any of our readers know anything about the lesser-known members of the playing staff on these pages, please let us know.

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