It Happened On This Day

October 30: A Big Day For Wolves Midfielders

Mike Bailey....driving force.

Mike Bailey….driving force.

Not one but two of Wolves’ most influential midfielders from the last half a century will have good reason to remember this day in history.

It was the very date, 37 years ago, on which Mike Bailey made the last of his 436 League and cup appearances for the club.

And today is also a big anniversary in the life of Paul Cook, who was signed exactly 24 years ago at the start of a Molineux career of 214 competitive matches – just under half that of the 1960s and 1970s favourite.

The fee of £250,000 that Graham Turner splashed out to bring the talented left-footer to the West Midlands from East Anglia was a record incoming deal at the time for a then top-flight Norwich.

It proved to be money well spent as Cook was a frequent supply line for Steve Bull, although his debut in a 0-0 draw in the first week of November, 1989, was marked by the dismissal of the goal-hungry style in front of watching England manager Bobby Robson.

Cook may not have been able to help Wolves to promotion in a stay of nearly five years at the club but he earned himself a leg-up when joining Coventry in the Premier League in August, 1994. The quality of the current Chesterfield manager, although perhaps prone to inconsistency and casualness in his search for the long killer pass, was reflected in the £600,000 outlay by the Sky Blues.

Bailey’s usefulness to Wolves requires little emphasising. As fans from the Ronnie Allen and Bill McGarry eras will well know, he was not only the driving force from the centre of the field but also an inspirational, demanding captain.

His final game for Wolves was a somewhat unhappy occasion – a 2-2 Second Division draw for Sammy Chung’s side at Blackpool that was held up for some minutes by crowd trouble.

Paul Cook - true talent.

Paul Cook – true talent.

He subsequently went off to America to play for Minnesota Kicks before serving Hereford at the start of a coaching and managerial career that also took in Charlton and Brighton.

As the Legends area of this site shows, Bailey stands 13th in the list of record Wolves appearance-makers with Cook in joint 67th. Between them, they totalled 648 games for the club.

* Our apologies for the late post of this story – technical issues, combined with foreign travels, caused a 24-hour hold-up!


Thomas Publications