An Age-Old Question

Help Sought Over Senior Moments

Sammy Smyth (left) alongside Les Cocker (centre) and Johnny Walker at the signing session that launched David Instone’s Forever Wolves book in 2002.

Following our spotlight on latter-day Molineux defender Len Gibbons three days ago, we are seeking to establish who Wolves’ oldest former player is.

The search is not as simple as looking down the birthdates for those who plied their football trade in these parts in the 1940s and 1950s.

The problem is knowing which of the ‘possibles’ – men who played relatively few games for the club – are still alive.

We have some idea of where to pinpoint our search but invite our loyal readers to make any suggestions they think appropriate to help us on our way.

All the more so if they know of any players in their late 80s or older, for example, who are still with us.

With the sad loss of a number of high-profile players, the mantle has been passed on frequently in recent years.

Our obituary of 1949 FA Cup final scorer Sammy Smyth in 2016 made reference to him having been, at 91, the longest-living ex-player from both Wolves and Stoke.

Another Wanderers Wembley hero, the club’s 1960 final captain Bill Slater, was then out on his own until he left us in December, 2018, also aged 91.

Sadly, only a few weeks later, we had to report the death of Scottish forward Johnny Walker, who, at 90, took on the same status as the club’s oldest former player.

We believe that the man we are looking for now was born after Len Gibbons, who arrived on November 27, 1930.

To give some perspective to this….in talking about established trophy-winning players, Ron Flowers was born in July, 1934, Colin Booth in December, 1934 and Gerry Harris in October, 1935.

Harry Hooper arrived in June, 1933, which makes him 86. But that’s still well below the ages Smyth, Slater, Walker, Jimmy Dunn and Bert Williams lived to – food for thought that there are other senior guys still out there who played at least some first-team games while on the staff at Molineux.

If you are able to help us, please be mindful of not passing on direct contact details without the permission of the families.

Bert Williams, towered over here by Matt Murray and a latter-day hero who lived to the ripe old age of 93.

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Thomas Publications
www.footiepix.co.uk