Dear Diary Entry 55
A Project To Put Your Shirt On
Friday, April 1: Had a two-hour meeting in one of the Billy Wright Stand’s executive boxes about the terrific They Wore The Shirt project that is advancing nicely. Steve Plant, whose brainchild this quality, hard-back book is, continues to be an inspirational leader, backed up by the Wolves Former Players Association’s Richard Green and designer Simon Pagett.
Tuesday, April 5: Spoke by phone to Fred Kemp while he was on the way to the airport and sunnier climes to arrange to pick up the Fulham books he had kindly asked his son-in-law John Marshall – a legend at Craven Cottage and now in the scouting team at Wolves – to sign for me.
Saturday, April 9: Interrupted match-day (Wolves v Blackburn) to ring former Molineux reserve keeper Jeff Wealands and ask whether I could reconnect him with a figure from his past. Neil Harman, a long-time tennis correspondent for Fleet Street’s broadsheet newspapers, remembered Jeff both when he covered football on this patch for the Birmingham Post & Mail three and a half decades ago and when they both moved to Manchester and found themselves living in nearby streets. Wealands, best known for his time at Hull, later served at St Andrew’s and Old Trafford, having failed to make the first team at Molineux.
Wednesday, April 13: Seems a long time since I sat near Robert Kelly – then in Nottingham Forest’s backroom team – as the Al-Hasawi family from Kuwait held a press conference nearly four years ago to explain why they had taken over at the City Ground and field questions about whether Mick McCarthy might become their chosen manager. Since Dougie Freedman’s sacking last month, the club have lost four games in a row and seem as far away as ever from getting it right.
Thursday, April 21: Enjoyed a few hours on the Express & Star ‘old boys’ table at the Wolves Former Players Association dinner at Molineux tonight. As well as Steve Gordos, David Harrison and Steve’s wife Lindsay (formerly an editor’s secretary at the paper), we had the pleasure of the company of photographer John Sambrooks, early 1970s Molineux correspondent John Dee and Dave Wagstaffe’s partner, Val Williams.
Saturday, April 23: No goal-fest today for the likes of Andy Thompson and Paul Jones to describe from the press box as Wolves and Rotherham played out Molineux’s fourth successive 0-0 draw – a far cry from when the Yorkshire club were beaten 6-4 here two Aprils ago and 5-0 late last winter.
Sunday, April 24: Fingers crossed Ron Flowers and his wife Yvonne made it to tonight’s PFA awards dinner on time. While Leicester’s contingent were in the news for being whisked to London by helicopter after their 4-0 victory over Swansea, the famous residents of a village not far from Stafford were being picked up by Jimmy Armfield and his wife by car – and hoping the Blackpool idol’s duties at the organ at his local church didn’t make him late!
Thursday, April 28: Belatedly caught up on some highlights from Crystal Palace’s FA Cup semi-final win over Watford and couldn’t help but feel pleased for Wayne Hennessey – Wembley-bound again now next month to face Manchester United. What with the European Championships finals coming up, he has a mouth-watering few months ahead.