The Toast Is…..Wembley
League Cup Heroes Reunited
Three Wembley goalscorers, four men who played in two Wolves’ League Cup final victories, several team-mates…..and 150 contented guests.
Eleven former Wolves players last night attended a reunion of the club’s finest two afternoons of the last 40 years when they dined and reminisced with supporters at the Copthorne Hotel, Brierley Hill.
On stage were Kenny Hibbitt, John Richards – the two men on the score-sheet against Manchester City in 1974 – and Andy Gray, the match-winner against Nottingham Forest at the same venue six years later.
The trio fielded questions from both fans and MC Paul Franks on an evening on which eight of their former Molineux colleagues swelled the celebrity turn-out.
Geoff Palmer, who, like Hibbitt and Richards, played in both finals, were in attendance, as were Dave Wagstaffe, John McAlle and substitute Barry Powell from 1974 and Willie Carr, Mel Eves and substitute Colin Brazier from 1980. Phil Parkes, who unluckily missed out against City through injury after playing in all of the earlier rounds, was present as well.
“It was great for all the lads and their partners to get together again,” Richards said today. “The evening worked really well and gave us the chance to apologise again for those hideous tracksuits we wore in 1974. And we thought we looked great in them at the time!
“I don’t think I had seen Andy Gray for seven or eight years since were together at a golf day somewhere, so it was lovely to spend some time in his company again.
“I never fail to be amazed by the loyalty of the supporters here. There were some up from London and the same autograph hunters, some of them from Nottingham and Derby, were still queueing in the cold outside when we left at 1am.”
There was also a donation from the evening, which was organised by Sedgley-based Route 39, to Compton Hospice.
And a reminder of the line-ups who achieved glory under Bill McGarry and John Barnwell respectively…….
March 2, 1974 (Wolves 2 Manchester City 1): Pierce, Palmer, Parkin, Bailey, Munro, McAlle, Hibbitt, Sunderland, Richards, Dougan, Wagstaffe (Powell).
March 15, 1980 (Wolves 1 Nottingham Forest 0): Bradshaw, Palmer, Parkin, Daniel, Hughes, Berry, Hibbitt, Carr, Gray, Richards, Eves. Substitute: Brazier.