Title Outcome A Happy One As Well
Frank Munro has raised a glass to what he sees as a highly pleasing end to the Premier League season – at both ends of the table.
The imperious former defender was naturally delighted with Wolves’ rise to a position of considerable comfort above the scramble for survival and was also thrilled that his first English club Chelsea held off Manchester United to lift the title.
And, although a frequent Molineux visitor despite these days being a wheelchair user, he stayed at home on Sunday to watch the last day of the top-flight campaign unfold on TV.
“I was an apprentice at Chelsea and still have a soft spot for them as well,” Munro said.
“I was only there for six months but they left a big impression on me. I used to clean Terry Venables’ boots – and Bobby Tambling’s.
“I suppose the last day of the title race could have been more exciting but it was some performance from Chelsea. I was pleased they held United off.”
Munro spent six months with the Londoners in his mid-teens before succumbing to homesickness, plotting a new career path in his native Scotland and then heading for virtually a full decade at Molineux.
No praise is too high for the value he gave on Ronnie Allen’s relatively modest outlay on him in January, 1968, playing 372 League and cup games and still standing in 20th place in the list of Wolves all-time record appearance makers.
But his journey to the West Midlands was a colourful one, littered with one or two potentially dodgy turns before he was converted south of the border from a forward to a central defender.
“I was in the same crop at Stamford Bridge as John Boyle but found it very hard to settle so far from home,” the 62-year-old added.
“Tommy Docherty was fantastic with me and once gave me £60 to go home for a few days’ break. Just before the train pulled in back in Dundee, though, I chucked something out of the window and was horrified when I realised the money had gone with it.
“It didn’t help that my brother rang me every day I was in London. I think that made my homesickness worse.
“I was in the youth sides and reserves at Chelsea but they let me go after six months and both the Dundee clubs wanted me.
“All my family, including me, were Dundee-mad and they had Ian Ure and Alan Gilzean there. Bill Shankly’s brother Bob was manager and offered me £10 a week.
“But their plan was to farm me out somewhere for a season and I thought that was a year wasted, so I signed for United instead.
“My brother whacked me and wasn’t very happy when I scored in the League Cup against Dundee on my debut. I was going to be in the reserves for a while but got my chance much earlier than expected.
“From there, I went up to Aberdeen and obviously enjoyed my ten years at Wolves immensely – and they were always my favourite English club, even as a boy. But I often wonder what would have happened if I’d stayed at Chelsea.”