Hole Lotta Love For The Hibbitts
Ken Cruises In On Happy Anniversary
It probably would have suited Kenny Hibbitt better if this had been a mixed foursome competition or something similar.
Wedding anniversaries are always tricky days on which to try to escape with the lads to the golf course but the record-breaking midfielder managed the feat at Enville yesterday and showed the same dexterity in plotting a way among the prizes.
Wife Jane accompanied him up from the Cotswolds, watched some of the proceedings and was escorted by long-time friends for a nice pub lunch in Wombourne during the middle of his round.
“I was very keen to come and play in this event again as it’s for such a good cause and Enville is a place I have happy memories of from my time at Wolves,” Hibbitt said.
“Obviously, the timing wasn’t ideal – nor is the fact I am up at Pelsall doing a supporters’ night on Jane’s birthday later in the summer!
“But it was nice that she joined me and we were able to spend most of the day together.”
It was 44 years ago yesterday that the couple were married in Wednesfield, with John Richards’ better half Pam, the bride’s cousin, as a bridesmaid.
Several team-mates were in attendance for the big day on June 2, 1973 but the (still) happy couple are unable to decide for sure whether Bill McGarry accepted his invitation to be among the guests.
“That’s a tricky one,” Kenny added. “We know we’re right in saying Bill’s wife Connie was there, though, because she brought us a present.”
In a summer in which Wolves were coming to terms with the disappointment of having lost in the semi-finals of both the League Cup and FA Cup, there was just time for a honeymoon before the Hibbitts appeared three weeks later at the Richards’ wedding.
Just as well that Australia, New Zealand and America – the far-flung destinations for the squad in the previous close season – weren’t on the agenda once more. Wolves did not travel abroad again until starting to prepare for what proved their first League Cup-winning season by going to Sweden at the end of July.
Richards was among the contingent of Molineux favourites at yesterday’s second staging of the They Wore The Shirt tournament, where he was greeted on arrival by former Express & Star reporter Tim Nash – eager for a view from a one-time Portuguese top-flight star on the fact Wolves have just recruited a coaching team from that country.
Work commitments and visits to daughters in Australia and Yorkshire meant this was only the striker’s third game of golf this year. And it came on the day after he and Pam had bumped into the BBC’s Nick Owen at the Stand Up For Rock night at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre, featuring their good friend Bev Bevan and Jasper Carrott.
Terry Wharton, Mel Eves, Colin Brazier, Dale Rudge and Jon Purdie were other former Wolves players to tee off, one or two others having been ruled out after fitness tests!
Hibbitt, a three-handicapper, was the star of the team who finished second and he stayed awake long enough last night for a cosy dinner for two.
But he had an early night as he flew out of Birmingham just after 7am today at the start of five nights at La Manga among his fellow ex-professionals.
Also packing his clubs for the Terry Mancini-organised tournament was Steve Bull, who, by coincidence, has been away this week in Portugal.
* They Wore The Shirt entrepreneur Steve Plant proudly announced today that the Enville get-together had raised a further £4,500 for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.