VIP View Of 130th Birthday Celebrations
Dave Woodfield has expressed his gratitude after meeting up with old pals on what he thinks might be his last visit to Molineux.
The experienced former centre-half was at yesterday’s Premier League game against Chelsea and was delighted to cross paths again with some of the players there to help celebrate the iconic stadium’s 130th birthday.
Phil Parkes, Derek Parkin, Mike Bailey, John McAlle, Geoff Palmer, Kenny Hibbitt and Steve Daley were all present from the era in which Duggie made his 276 first-team appearances for the club and all of them but Daley were joined in a half-time walk-on by Andy Mutch, Steve Bull, Andy Thompson and Robbie Dennison.
We have been saddened to learn that Woodfield is suffering from bowel cancer but delighted that he and his family were given a memorable day and weekend out.
“I phoned Steve Daley some time ago and asked if it might be possible to go to a game as a family for one final time,” Duggie said today.
“I went with my son Gary and his wife while my other son Jason and his wife came up from Coventry. The granddaughters were there also and we had some lovely hospitality in the Stan Cullis Stand before the game.
“I was hoping for a Wolves win of course but Gary was happy enough as he is a Chelsea fan.”
By coincidence, the Leamington-born 75-year-old made the first of his 250 League appearances for Wolves in a home draw against Chelsea at the end of 1961-62.
He subsequently played in Wolves sides who beat the Londoners at Molineux and Stamford Bridge and faced them several times when the clubs repeatedly met on an end-of-season tour to the Caribbean in 1964.
He worked and lived abroad for decades before we interviewed him round the time he attended Wolves’ 1-0 home victory over Villa during the Paul Lambert era.
Although he met up that evening with Ted Farmer and Fred Davies, it was a visit conducted under the radar compared with this one.
Daley was a valuable middle man in getting the defender back here from his home near Newmarket and said today: “I hadn’t spoken to Dave since he left here in the early 1970s, so I was shocked to receive a call from him a few weeks ago.
“He was going to come to the Manchester United game last month but wasn’t able to after it was switched to the Monday night.
“The other lads met him in or by the museum before the game yesterday and there was a chance for the family to take photos down by the pitch.
“The club really did them proud by laying on a lovely meal in WV1 and providing a pass to the directors’ car park. We at the Wolves Former Players Association also chipped in for a night at the Mount Hotel for them all.”
Woodfield, who is still making regular gym visits, has missed out this weekend on a reunion with Parkin but reckoned he was seeing Bailey, Parkes, McAlle, Hibbitt, Palmer and Daley for the first time since returning to Molineux in 1974 as a Watford player for his testimonial.
That game, like yesterday, ended in a 5-2 Wolves defeat, with an International XI providing the opposition 45 years ago.