Dear Diary Entry 85
A Welcome Crossing Of The Border
Saturday, September 29: Had the pleasant surprise of bumping into Jim McCalliog and his wife Debbie at Wolves’ home game against Southampton this afternoon. Well, it was a meeting of two of his former clubs, so maybe it wasn’t quite so surprising he turned up. Dave Merrington, briefly a Molineux chief scout during the reign of Mark McGhee, was also there in his role as a local radio summariser and Chris Kamara was among us in the media room before kick-off.
Monday, October 1: Was pleased to see Keith Curle appointed as manager of Northampton a few months on from leaving his post at Carlisle. It is some time now since he went solo after several seasons in tandem with Neil Warnock and his record is sound without being eye-catching. Good luck to him in his new role.
Friday, October 5: Have received one or two kind comments about the lengthy feature we recently posted about former Molineux coach Norman Bodell. One reader kindly added his own contribution by saying how he had heard straight from the horse’s mouth that our subject used to travel 15 miles and an hour and a half each way to and from Rusholme Grammar School in Manchester. This was his routine for five or six years while growing up in Lancashire, the journey being undertaken by bus, train and foot. At half past three, he apparently used to put his hand up and ask if he could leave lessons a little early to catch the bus home.
Thursday, October 11: Took a phone call from one of my Express & Star predecessors, David Harrison, telling me that Doug Ellis had died at the aged of 94. This football knight is best known for all his work at Aston Villa, of course, but there was conversation between the two of us about his short spell at Wolves in 1982, when he fulfilled what he described as a ‘caretaker’ role in keeping the club going. The only condition Malcolm Finlayson laid down when interviewed in depth by me once was that I didn’t ask any questions about his time on that particular board of directors – one suspects the full story of that regime is now never going to be told.
Saturday, October 13: Sat next to Ted Farmer and his wife Vicky at the 50th wedding anniversary celebrations tonight of Albert and Muriel Bates. How much the Bateses have done over the decades for Wolves fans, particularly in their long-term running of the Official Supporters Club! Each time I meet them, I feel duty-bound to thank them for the fabulous adventure they gave us on the first day of the 1990s in organising a fleet of aircraft to take us to the Steve Bull-inspired 4-1 victory at Newcastle. Also toasting the happy couple in Wombourne this evening was former Molineux reserve striker Andy Harnett.
Thursday, October 18: Another terrific high-powered delegation appeared tonight at the first full Wolves Fans Parliament session of the season. I wonder how many clubs up and down the country agree to their top brass facing fans and taking questions from them like Wolves regularly do. Among those attending tonight were managing director Laurie Dalrymple, sporting director Kevin Thelwell, commercial manager Russell Jones and several other department heads.
Saturday, October 20: Good to see Simon Osborn at this afternoon’s Premier League home game against Watford. He was on corporate duty, as was Barry Powell in the Stan Cullis Stand, while Andy Thompson took his usual place in the press box alongside commentator Mikey Burrows.
Sunday, October 28: Was mightily received to receive a Facebook message back from Mike Stowell’s wife, Rachel, assuring me he and all his family were fine – but in deep shock – following the tragic helicopter crash outside Leicester’s King Power Stadium last night. What a hero that pilot that was if he did actually steer the craft away from the staff car park and also if he guided it in any way to where no spectators were leaving the ground.