Barry Stobart: 1938 – 2013

A Success Story With A Dramatic Opening

Major Buckley’s decision to play 16-year-old wingers Alan Steen and Jimmy Mullen together against Manchester United in 1939 inevitably raised some eyebrows. There was also that extraordinary mid-journey departure from the team bus when Larry Kelly was told Terry Springthorpe was being preferred to him in the FA Cup final against Leicester ten years later. But, when it comes to sensationial Wolverhampton Wanderers team selections from across the decades, Barry Stobart’s inclusion in the Wembley showpiece against Blackburn is certainly right up there.

A Bill That May Have Come Early

McGarry Feared Wolves Chance Had Passed Him By

It’s 45 years this autumn since Bill McGarry was installed as Wolves manager – but the dusty archives reveal how he might have arrived at Molineux much sooner. Wolves were only a few weeks into the first of their two mid-1960s Second Division seasons when the Staffordshire-born former England wing-half was strongly touted for a return to the Midlands.

Golden Summers!

A Molineux Sojourn Amid A Midlands Tour

It hardly amounted to the most promising opening line in an interview. “I enjoy being a recluse, you know,” said Gerry Summers, when handed the phone after being told I, a complete stranger to him, was on the other end. Given, though, that he grew up a keen Birmingham supporter, played and coached for Albion, served Walsall as a wing-half and then joined the backroom team at a top-flight Wolves, the desire to track him down was strong.

The Fondest Of Farewells

Goodbye Waggy – Hero To Thousands

At Derek Dougan’s funeral six and a bit years ago, it wasn’t the proceedings inside St Peter’s Collegiate Church that most put a lump in my throat. Whatever the tributes paid by Mike Bailey, Martin O’Neill, Terry Conroy and the like, the greatest poignancy came from the spontaneous chanting of fans who followed the service by tanoy as they stood in the rain. Today, when the Wolverhampton Wanderers family reassembled at the same venue to pay their final respects to David Wagstaffe, it was probably the exit music, Daydream Believer, that most hit the spot.

Dear Diary, Entry 24

Cooking Up Some Memories

Tuesday, July 23: Met up after a gap of 12 years or so with Paul Cook and agreed with him that the last time we had been together was probably when he scored a long-range winner against Wolves at Stockport. He’s now Chesterfield’s manager and kindly provided not only a match ticket for our good mutual friend Gwilym Machin for tonight’s friendly against Wolves but also passes for us to one of the posh guest rooms at their nice new ground.

Golden Memories Of A Class Act

Further Tributes To Much-loved Frank

Forty years ago, all the chat was about a home game against Norwich and the impending start of a season that was to end with McGarry’s Wolves as honours winners at last. At Molineux today, many of those same players were fondly remembering those they have lost and coming to terms with the fact that the passage of time waits for no man.

Wilshaw Was Frustrated By News Black-Out

Four-Goal Blast Against Scots Went Largely Unreported

Steve Bull’s unforgettable debut goal for England at Hampden Park is captured amply in photographs, print and on film – and triggered Rob Bishop’s writing of the ‘Backstreet International’ book about him that was published in 1989-90. Rather harder to find are cuttings celebrating the astonishing feat of another Wolves forward when Scotland headed south to face the Auld Enemy in a famous staging of the fixture that is revived at Wembley tomorrow night.

Magazine With A Gold And Black Trim!

High-Class Pages Contain Much For Wolves Fans

A two-page feature on Kenny Hibbitt highlights the typically strong Wolves content in the latest issue of the retro magazine Backpass. The question-and-answer piece was compiled by Andy Gray (no, not that one!) and appears under the heading ’24 Carat Wanderer’ in the quality 64-page publication.

Dave Wagstaffe: 1943 – 2013

Much-loved Winger Who Lived To The Full

It’s at times like this that you are thankful for how much can be squeezed into a life. When asked in a BBC WM interview 18 months ago about the passing of his good childhood friend Davy Jones, of Monkees fame, Dave Wagstaffe spoke warmly but with apparent freedom from emotion by summing up: “He had a good life.”
We can say much the same now as the dust settles on the news we had feared hearing for several weeks; that Wolverhampton Wanderers’ best and best-loved winger since the halcyon days of Hancocks and Mullen had been taken from us at the age of 70.

My Good Friend Waggy – JR

‘Lovely Man, Great Player’

There’s still shock this morning among the Molineux fraternity following the news yesterday of Dave Wagstaffe’s passing. Wolves Heroes co-owner John Richards has today written the following words. “I will always remember Waggy, in addition to being the best left winger of his generation, as being a very thoughtful person. He always made an effort to chat to us youngsters when we were trying to make our way into the first team. He would go out of his way to make you feel comfortable and at ease.

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