Dear Diary, Entry 27
Everyone Out…..Time To Meet An Old Friend
Saturday, October 26: A false alarm at Anfield had a happy personal side-effect. While I was out in the car park after the press room and other hospitality areas had been vacated ten minutes after the final whistle in Liverpool’s resounding home win over Albion, who should walk by but Ian Ross? The Scot is much better known as a former Liverpool player than a one-time Wolves coach, of course, and still gets to matches there when he can. Having worked for seven seasons in management in Iceland, he was also impressed that these minnows of European football had made it to the play-offs in World Cup qualifying.
Monday, October 28: Was landed with an interesting assignment on a day spent working in the Wolves media office – the chance to do the interview for the official website in which Jamie O’Hara wanted to express his contrition and dedication to the cause. The controversial Londoner returned as a substitute in Saturday’s victory at Bradford City and surely has the potential to become the best midfielder in League One. I applaud Kenny Jackett for reintegrating him if he is convinced his mind is right.
Wednesday, October 30: Mmm…..a trip with a difference to a midweek match; Real Madrid 7 Seville 3. Doesn’t need much else adding really, except we met Phil Neville on the flight out of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport (I never would have guessed Manchester United had ‘dumbed down’ so much that they now fly on Easyjet). My first trip to the splendour of the Bernabeu had me thinking what it must have been like the night Wolves drew 2-2 there in a prestige friendly in 1957.
Sunday, November 10: Travelled with George Andrews, the commentator on Wolves games for The Wolf a few years ago, to the Swansea v Stoke Premier League game. Mike Pejic was on board also as co-commentator and Terry Conroy (a guest at Derek Dougan’s funeral), Leighton James and John Hartson were among those in the media room. Mike named a few of the dirtiest opponents he faced and I was pleased, although not surprised, that none of Wolves’ former wingers were on his list.
Thursday, November 14: Appeared tonight alongside Alistair Robertson and Kenny Jackett’s secretary Alison Matthews at a fans’ question and answer session. There presumably weren’t any Wolves supporters present, though, as it was a function at The Hawthorns to mark the launch of a Baggies book. Wolves Heroes’ sister company Thomas Publications were the producers of Mr Albion, the autobiography of Alison’s father Dave, who died suddenly in April after serving the club for an astonishing 51 years as kit-man.
Tuesday, November 19: Saw the usual suspects in the press box at Wolves’ disappointing FA Cup replay defeat against Oldham – namely Matt Murray, Andy Thompson and Paul Jones. Matt was raving about Brentford’s performance in their 5-0 slaughter of Crewe three days ago and warns that Wolves are in for a serious test at Molineux at the weekend. It seemed strange to see Charlie MacDonald among the Oldham substitutes. He was in the audience when Steve Daley and I went to Staffordshire University to speak to past and present players a fortnight ago.
Friday, November 22: Bumped into Sammy Chapman in the Merry Hill shopping centre and was reminded of why I used to love ringing him for a chat. Genial as ever at the age of 75 and contented in retirement, he spoke of the quality of West Midlands managers and believes Albion could do much worse than look at Walsall’s Dean Smith if Steve Clarke should leave. Sammy was waxing lyrical about how good the Saddlers looked in their win over Wolves’ promotion rivals Peterborough on Monday.