Dear Diary Entry 102

Still Haunted By Echoes Of The Past

Wolves playing – and losing, of course – against Brighton on the opening day of the 1980-81 campaign. Andy Gray and Brian Horton are pictured.

Saturday, March 7: Wolves still have a disproportionate amount of trouble when facing Brighton. Decades on from when they were a definite bogey side and nearly seven years since they drove the final nail into the Molineux relegation coffin for the second time, they continue to be problematic opponents. Today’s uneventful 0-0 draw between the clubs means Wolves have taken only three points out of 12 in games against them since returning to the Premier League.

Thursday, March 12: Saturday didn’t feel like a ‘That’s all for now’ fixture but tonight’s Europa League draw away to Olympiacos definitely did. Closedown time is upon us. We are in unchartered, unique times here – for the world as a whole, not just the sporting fraternity. A case of: See you all after the break!

Monday, March 23: Not only were we informed that today’s planned meeting of the Hall of Fame committee members at Molineux was cancelled – but that the May 1 dinner at which the inductees were to have been celebrated is off, too. Lord knows when the two occasions will be rescheduled for. We had best get used to it, though, because life is not going to be normal again for many weeks.

Tuesday, March 24: Was gutted to miss out on going today to the funeral of my long-time former Express & Star sports editor Brian Clifford, who was found dead at his home on the night of Wolves’ home game against Leicester on February 14. The virus ate hugely into what would have been a large turn-out of newspaper friends, golf mates and sports celebrities such as Wolves Heroes’ John Richards and boxing promoter Ron Gray, both of whom got on famously with him. RIP, Brian – the man who not only recruited me to the Star but then promoted me and backed me all the way, including in some challenging times.

Monday, March 30: Enjoyed a phone catch-up with Mark Rankine, who apologised for the fact he couldn’t get back to us before we published the story about him on here three days ago. He is still in close contact with Mark Venus (now at Blackburn with Tony Mowbray), was interested to hear from us of Rob Kelly’s whereabouts and opened my eyes to the fact that Jamie Smith is now at Doncaster as part of Darren Moore’s backroom team.

Rob Kelly with his Fortuna Dusseldorf boss Uwe Rosler, pictured here when they were together at Malmo last year.

Wednesday, April 1: Was pleased to reassure Ken Knighton that a player from a different Molineux era, Bobby Gould, was safe and well. The two live a mile or so apart south of Bristol and Ken, who is the unnamed character in the photo we used on here on March 24, pointed out to us that he hadn’t seen the 1970s Wolves forward for some months on the walks that often coincide on the banks of the Severn estuary. Regular readers will be fully in the picture by now as to why.

Friday, April 3: These must be bewildering times for Robert Kelly. No sooner had he started to get his feet under the table in his role as assistant manager at Fortuna Dusseldorf than the exciting Bundesliga season was suspended and, like football here, left facing an uncertain future. We look forward to resuming contact with him soon and to updating readers on his fortunes.

Thomas Publications
www.footiepix.co.uk