Let’s Do It All Again Much Sooner
Duo’s Pledge To Reconvene In The Autumn
Bobby Gould and Les Wilson are planning a quick meet-up again after getting together earlier this month for the first time in around 35 years.
As he has in the past with so many of his football friends, Wilson played the role of perfect host when the Goulds dropped in on Vancouver on their way home from a winter in New Zealand.
And the two couples have understandably vowed to leave it nothing like as long before they plan their next link-up!
“Les and his wife Lois were a pleasure to spend time with and we all got on so well,” Bobby told us. “‘The Reverend’, as we knew him at Wolves, is brilliant at bringing back the memories and we had five days of fun and laughs.
“All those famous Molineux stories came out…….the ban Bill McGarry put on players eating prawn cocktail, the big characters like The Doog and ‘Manny’ Bailey and the time Jim McCalliog asked after a League Cup defeat at Oxford for us to be allowed to have jam, toast and tea again at the hotel before games. Bill relented and we went ten games unbeaten and won about eight of them.
“The reminiscing was unbelievable and we saw plenty of the two of them, although we had decided to stay in a hotel in the city rather than at theirs as we knew we would have some jet lag and didn’t want to be a nuisance if we needed to rest at odd times.
“Les met us off the plane and they enjoyed showing us round their city……it is a lovely place which my wife, Marge, decided a few months ago would be good for a stop-off on the way home.
“Our house is quite similar to theirs and the two ladies got on so well while we did all our catching-up.”
Gould had last been in British Columbia’s best-known city when flying there in 1983 to look at the possibility of a job his agent Dennis Roach was pushing him for at Vancouver Whitecaps.
At the time, he was in the infancy of what proved a long career in the dug-out but the Canadian connection was short-lived and nothing came of his trip.
“I saw the Reverend on that occasion as well and we are already making plans to go back to see them in October or November as long as we are able to go back to New Zealand next winter,” Gould added.
“This time we will do it on the outward flight as the weather there is apparently better at that time of year.”
Maybe Bobby will see the same Indian gentleman at the money-change desk at Vancouver Airport who recently showed an interest in the contents of his wallet. Seeing a cigarette card photo of the player in Arsenal kit while some NZ dollars were traded in for Canadian ones, the official pointed out that he was a keen Gunners fan and promised to look up this distant former striker on the Internet that evening!
“Our get-together was all our yesterdays, indeed,” Les said. “We enjoyed Bobby’s and Marge’s company immensely….you can’t put a price on an overdue rendezvous like this.”
Gould is such an enthusiastic user of nicknames that a page at the back of his 2010 autobiography was devoted to identifying characters from his career that he had referred to throughout by their dressing-room monikers.
But he insists the one conferred on Wilson was done before he himself became part of the Wolves squad.
Les added: “We would go and relax around the swimming pool at the Sheraton Wiltshire Hotel during the 1967 United States tournament most days when we were not travelling or playing.
“We would get into debates on football, global history and politics and all had our own takes on these subject matters. I always tried to look on the bright and honest side and have always believed in fair play and honesty in sport and life. So I earned the nickname ‘The Reverend’ among such prominent 1960s Molineux characters as Derek Dougan, Bobby Thomson, David Burnside, John Holsgrove, Mike Bailey and, yes, Bobby Gould.”