Poyser: A Man Of Priceless Contributions
Star-Maker Who Ticked Many Boxes
Did George Poyser ever come under serious consideration for the role of Wolves manager?
Some might enquire ‘George Who?’ But those who lived through the era will know he had the credentials to be a contender – and had some very favourable connections at Molineux with which to support his case.
This son of Nottinghamshire had a stint at Wolves as a player without breaking into the first team but renewed his links with the club following the war-hastened end to his career as a defender with Stourbridge, his local side Mansfield, Port Vale, Brentford and Plymouth.
He was at Griffin Park for more than a decade from 1934 and, significantly for Wolves, then moved to Dover, where he was given his first chance in management.
It was, after all, near Kent’s coalfields that Poyser was to spot two lads who lived on opposite sides of Adelaide Street in the village of Elvington, Peter Broadbent and Jimmy Murray.
First, in his role as assistant trainer at Brentford, he took Broadbent to West London – the club he himself, as their £1,550 record signing, had helped to the First Division in the mid-1930s.
Poyser subsequently joined the backroom team at Molineux – another delightful development as far as Wolves were concerned as it meant that was where Broadbent headed when it was decided he was ready to step up to the big time.
Not that the coach and scout, who even accommodated the new boy for a while at his home in Waterloo Road, was happy at that.
By way of a bonus, he also sent Wolves the goal-scoring gifts of Murray, who had caught his eye while playing for London Boys against Germany Boys after progressing via Deal and Sandwich Boys and Kent Boys.
“The man who had been instrumental in starting Broadbent on his football career did the same for me,” Murray was quoted as saying in the Charles Buchan book we reviewed just over a week ago.
“He asked me if I would like to go to the Wolves on trial and could not have asked a better question or chosen a better time. I was soon due to leave school and, with the backing of my parents, I was off to Wolverhampton almost as soon as I had said goodbye to school.”
Broadbent once described Poyser as ‘guide, philosopher and friend’, having by coincidence been on the opposite side to Norman Deeley in one of his trial games down south.
So, here was a man who had done massive favours for Wolves and key members of their dressing room. And it didn’t end there…..
Poyser later took Murray and Barry Stobart to Manchester City while serving as manager at Maine Road from 1963 to 1965 and even sent Dave Wagstaffe to Molineux just over Christmas of 1964. If that wouldn’t make him more friends in the Molineux boardroom, nothing would!
We can assume that well-established first-team duo would have counselled the views of other men who had gone off to further their careers under a man who was born way back in 1910.
Gordon Wills, a left-winger who didn’t make it at Wolves but went on to play 128 games for Leicester, played in the meantime for Notts County, where Poyser was in charge from 1953-57 before becoming assistant at City.
Dudley-born Peter Russell is another who was happy to sacrifice strictly limited Molineux opportunities for greater chances with Poyser at Meadow Lane, so we have every reason to believe this was a figure who commanded considerable respect.
It’s out of the question that he would have been seriously considered by the Wolves hierarchy at least until Stan Cullis’s powers were known to be diminishing but would he not have been seen as a possible successor in 1964-65 when City were still in the Second Division?
In the event, Poyser, who had also taken Albion centre-forward Derek Kevan to Maine Road and helped groom Alan Oakes and Glyn Pardoe there, did not manage again.
He was succeeded in the boss’s chair by Joe Mercer and died in 1995, aged 84.
Wolverhampton Wanderers owed him an enormous debt of gratitude.