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Stowell Content After Latest Wolves Return
“I’ll settle for that,” said Mike Stowell in Molineux’s gleaming reception area around 11 o’clock last night.
He was talking about the phone message informing him that the car journey back to Bristol with his family should take 1hr 57min. But it was clear that the outcome of on-field events across a similar span of time – some 98 minutes of play plus 15 of half-time regrouping – had left him satisfied, too.
The point Leicester clung to on his latest Wolves homecoming was good news for a goalkeeper coach. It was 0-0 between the clubs at the King Power Stadium in August, too, and the same last season when they met in a Carabao Cup tie decided on penalties.
Although several notches below the pulsating drama of last winter’s Jota-inspired 4-3 Wolves victory in the League, this latest clash was no dull deadlock and the 54-year-old was in good spirits both when waving to his wife and daughter at full-time and when greeted by a small reception committee some time later.
“It’s always good to come back here, although the club has changed a lot and many of the staff I knew have moved on,” he said.
“It has been good to have a chat with Carl Ikeme and see him looking so well and to catch up again with Graham Hughes – what a legend he is! – and Richard Skirrow.
“I had also hoped to see Thommo, who I gather was on radio duty, but I just missed him.”
Wolves’ on-going bid to secure European qualification for the second successive season comes as Leicester are looking increasingly well poised to return to the Champions League.
Stowell and family escaped to Dubai for a few days in the recent break in top-flight fixtures and he is now enjoying a weekend off after six consecutive days of preparing for and playing the West Midlands v East Midlands derby.
It being the entertaining former Sporting Star columnist, there was banter as well before we went our separate ways.
The man who used to entertain coachloads of fans with the on-camera pre-match chats he had with John ‘Foz’ Hendley was also prominent in the response after Hughesie was knocked off his bike when pedalling to Molineux some two decades ago.
Replacement wheels and a day-glow jacket were bought for him following a whip-round organised in the dressing room and Stowell has only find memories of the friendship.
“I’ll never forget the welcome sound and sight of him coming down the corridor carrying our tea,” he added, “even if the contents were often floating on the tray by the time he reached us.”
The comments weren’t all one-way. A Wolves fan with decades of loyal service behind her was in earshot and said: “Obviously the refreshments here weren’t enough for you, Mike, because I remember you used to go over to Asda to buy sandwiches before setting off to away games.”