‘Gardening’ Leave For The Richardses
Sunshine Cure For Family Disappointment
John Richards is maintaining a characteristically cheerful outlook to life under lockdown, although it has cost he and his wife Pam a special family trip across the world.
The couple should have been in Australia now, helping their eldest daughter Kim and her husband retrace some important steps.
But their March 30 departure was aborted around a fortnight before take-off and left them to replace this quality family time through modern technology.
“Kim and Tim were married in the Port Douglas area of Queensland, which is up north of Cairns in the Barrier Reef area,” John said today.
“They are keen for their daughters to see where they became man and wife and had asked us if we wanted to make the trip with them.
“The plan was for us to spend a week with them at home near Melbourne before travelling up to the north of the country but then the restrictions came in.
“They are not in the same sort of lockdown as we are and can still go down to the sea for a swim, for example, but can’t then stay and congregate on the beach.
“But, if we had gone to Australia at the end of March as planned, we would then have had to go into isolation for a couple of weeks in a hotel – and the whole trip was only going to be three weeks.”
The different parties agree that the good current health of all concerned is the main thing, with the Richards’ younger daughter Abbie and her family still resident in Yorkshire.
“Staying in close touch would have been much harder 20 or 30 years ago,” he added. “We have so many good ways of contacting and seeing them now, which is something we are very thankful for.”
As well as helping make their lovely garden nicer still, Richards has been taking his turn in Wolves’ initiative to strengthen the connection between the club and their most senior fans during these trying times.
Willie Carr, Kenny Hibbitt, Steve Bull and Steve Daley are others to have lent a chirpy voice to the morale-lifting effort and each have no doubt had their tales to tell afterwards.
“We were asked through the Former Players Association if we could help by making around 30 calls each to fans in their 70s and 80s,” Richards said. “I’m sure we all enjoyed helping out.
“I had trouble initially convincing one guy that I was who I said I was and wasn’t making a scam call. And another lady cut me down slightly at the end of our lovely chat by saying: ‘It has been really nice to talk to you, John, but I have to say that my favourite player was Kenny Hibbitt!'”