A Welcome Moving Of The Goalposts
Molineux Family Set For Substantial Additions
A much-needed shot-in-the-arm has been administered to the Former Wolves Players Association with a relaxing of the rules for joining and an infusion of new blood at decision-making level.
A condition for membership from formation day in 1988 was that players had to have at least 200 Wolves first-team appearances to their name.
But that figure has now been reduced to 100, so officials estimate that around 50 surviving Molineux stalwarts will be free to become members for the first time if they wish.
Among those now eligible are David Barnes, Tom Bennett, Paul Blades, centre-half Paul Butler, Jimmy Dunn, Steve Froggatt, Paul Ince, Hugh McIlmoyle, John Pender, Alistair Robertson, Steve Stoutt, Nigel Vaughan and Les Wilson.
The association were highly praised and hugely popular after helping reunite the stars of the 1940s and 1950s, in particular, in a happy setting – usually at dinners staged in Molineux’s Hayward Suite.
They have also been experts in extending a friendly and sympathetic hand to the families of former players in times of need.
But sociable gatherings – the very reason the organisation were formed more than a quarter of a century ago – have become rare in recent seasons, especially since the advent of the excellent Hall of Fame dinners that are organised by the club themselves.
With the dearth of FPA events in mind, though, younger blood has now been welcomed on to the committee in the form of Mike Bailey, John McAlle and Phil Parkes.
They join Derek Parkin, Bill Slater and Roy Swinbourne, with Malcolm Finlayson taking over as president from Bert Williams. It is not yet clear who will succeed Finlayson as chairman.
From the outset, the Association made it clear they were not in any way interested in being a profit-making body, although their dinners have invariably been very well attended.
The 1970s generation of Wolves heroes have shown their capacity for organising and meeting with a series of highly successful golf days in the last couple of years.
Parkes has been particularly well to the fore in that area and has helped promote the charity angle to the competitions.