Familiar (Wolves) Faces On The Potteries Beat
Wednesday, November 21: Received a tap on the shoulder as I was climbing the steps of the Britannia Stadium’s main stand before the Stoke v Newcastle game and was surprised to see a beaming Ade Akinbiyi behind me. He was looking very dapper in his peaked cap, which also guaranteed him a certain amount of anonymity in the crowd.
Thursday, November 22: Thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Frank Wignall for the Wolves v Nottingham Forest programme this coming Saturday and likewise loved the long chat I had with Alex Rae for the same publication next Tuesday. It’s customary for the Molineux media department to want articles for this feature with players who played for both clubs. You can tell Alex has a real soft spot for Molineux – I wouldn’t rule him returning one day in some capacity.
Monday, November 26: Caught up on the news that Wolves Heroes’ co-owner John Richards, who is just back from his latest extended visit to see family in Australia, has been mingling with former team-mates and opponents, at the Memorabilia Show at the NEC. Had an invite to pop over myself but work left over from yesterday’s Aston Villa v Arsenal game got in the way.
Friday, November 30: Saw Michael Kightly on my way into a pre-match press conference at Stoke’s training ground this afternoon and was surprised to discover the squad were travelling overnight to their game at Albion tomorrow. Glad to see Michael is remaining injury-free – he deserves a good run.
Thursday, December 6: Caught an interview on Sky Sports with Rob Edwards, who took it in good part when gently ribbed by the interviewer about the fact he turns 30 on Christmas Day. He is having his injury problems at Barnsley and hasn’t played for them since April but has had five matches on loan with Fleetwood this autumn. Presumably they knew all about him from what he did at Blackpool a few years ago.
Thursday, December 13: Was happy to agree to a request from BBC Radio WM to be interviewed by Paul Franks on the subject of Molineux’s most famous ever fixture. It’s 58 years ago tonight since Wolves beat Honved 3-2 in front of 55,000 and Midlands Today put together a nice package containing some black and white clips from the game and interviews with Ron Flowers and Ron Atkinson. Incredibly, before the end of the programme, Nick Owen read out a tweet from Alan Hinton, who had seen the feature and spoken briefly of his memories of it. I assumed Alan was over from Seattle and watching it in the UK. Not so, his family told me later that it will be next year at the earliest before he’s in England again. He must have been following the story on the Internet.
Saturday, December 15: Had a brief chat with press room colleagues before kick-off today (back at Stoke as it happens) as to whether Mark McGhee was still in a job at Bristol Rovers, conscious as we were that the club’s results had been awful. Driving home, 6.06 brought the news that he had been sacked after their game at York, where Rovers were 4-1 down at half-time – and full-time. My mind went back to the chat I had with Jonathan Hayward at the Graham Hughes retirement do at the end of September. He now lives in the West Country and was planning to drop in on a game to see Mark.