Gould-en Shades Of Summer
Strewth Mate – An Embrace From Aussie Coach
Bobby Gould has renewed friendships from another of his sporting loves……at a time when he is considering whether he might catch up with the England cricket team on their winter travels.
The former Wolves striker relished the Ashes battle and World Cup conquest over the summer and was thrilled that he and wife Marge could take in a day of the final Test at The Oval.
And it was at the famous headquarters of the county where their son Richard is chief executive that he met up again with friends from his past.
Wolves Heroes had a small part to play in the reunion because, on the day of the Europa League group draw last month, we met up at the Australians’ game against Derbyshire with their coach Justin Langer, a man Gould had introduced us to when we were co-writing his autobiography nearly a decade ago.
“I knew Justin from Taunton when he was down here with Somerset,” he said. “He is a top bloke who I hit it off pretty quickly and we accepted an invitation to go to his house in Perth when our other son, Jonathan, was coaching in the city a few years ago.
“Because we went over to The Oval the day before the fifth Test started, Richard was able to escort us on to the outfield when it was appropriate to do so and Justin came over to see us.
“We had a great chat – it was so good to see him at the end of a brilliant cricket summer. And I have to say we were also very impressed with Steve Waugh’s football knowledge, even of the Midlands clubs, when we introduced ourselves to him as well.
“I had never met him before but he was able to reel off plenty of familiar names.”
Wolves fans may recall, either from being there or watching the live TV coverage, having seen Aussie duo Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle go on the pitch for a public introduction at half-time of the game against Everton five weeks ago.
Clearly, then, the duo would have had plenty to chat over in off-duty hours with Waugh, who was on the tour as a mentor.
Amazingly, Gould is still playing cricket, as well as going for twice-a-week training runs, at the age of 73 and word of his prowess at the crease caused some merriment at The Oval.
“I was telling one or two of them about an innings I played for Portishead Seconds against Bohemians on the last day of our season,” he added.
“I opened and we were losing wickets regularly in reply to their total of about 200. I survived but scored so slowly that I was 15 not out after 16 overs.
“I wear a Garmin watch to check my heart, noticed my rate was a bit high and asked their skipper if I could take a break and have a sit down on the boundary edge for a while.
“They agreed and I didn’t come back in until our ninth wicket fell, followed very quickly by the tenth. So there it was in the score book……RA Gould not out 17.
“Alec Stewart and others thought it was hilarious and said I should write a book about how to raise your batting average!”
Gould, who with his wife is contemplating another lengthy winter trip to New Zealand, where England visit before Christmas, was part of another notable occasion early last week.
He supported his good friend Bob Wilson by playing in the Willow Foundation golf day at East Herts, taking in the Arsenal v Villa game the previous day.
After the tournament had been completed, he found himself on a dinner table with a Tottenham contingent containing Glenn Hoddle.