Captain Conor In Cool Company

Yes, Coady Really DID Score For England!

Conor Coady challenges Joe Ralls in a Wolves game against Cardiff.

More amazing still than Conor Coady’s pride in finding himself wearing the England armband last night is the fact he scored one of his country’s goals.

The inspirational leader has been many things to Wolves over the last three or four years but definitely not a predatory marksman or master finisher…..a record of two goals in 240 games for the club makes that clear enough.

And Molineux men scoring for the home country really is such a rarity as to be well worth exploring.

No prizes for knowing that Steve Bull (four goals in 13 caps) was the last man to find the target for England as a Wolves player – before that, we have to go right back to a Ron Flowers penalty against the French at Hillsborough in 1962.

I am indebted to a 1974-75 copy of the Rothmans Football Yearbook for this list of other post-war Wolves-based England goalscorers (in order of how prolific they were): Ron Flowers (10), Dennis Wilshaw (10), Jimmy Mullen (6), Billy Wright (3), Peter Broadbent (2), Johnny Hancocks (2).

So Captain Coady is in rather elite company as he basks in the glory of managing what eluded Eddie Clamp, Chris Crowe, Norman Deeley, Alan Hinton, Emlyn Hughes, Matt Jarvis, Jesse Pye, John Richards, Bill Slater and Bobby Thomson.

Other well-known Wolves players scored for England before or after serving at Molineux – among them Mike O’Grady (3), Frank Wignall (2), Ray Crawford (1), Emlyn Hughes (1) and Jimmy Melia (1).

We should correct ITV match commentator Sam Matterface and point out that Coady’s last goal before his sumptuous finish in the friendly against Wales was a penalty at Bolton in the Championship run-in two and a half years ago – and not against Bristol City, as he twice said. He only had that chance as it was already 3-0 to Nuno’s side and virtually every other outfield player had scored that season.

His only other goal while at Molineux was in a 2-1 EFL Cup home win over Crawley in August, 2016.

Johnny Hancocks…..has his place among the yesteryear list of England goalscorers.

It would have surprised none of us if the Liverpudlian had been asked to lead that young side out at Wembley last night but we will delay any research on Wolves-based England skippers for now on the grounds that he was handed the armband by Kieran Trippier just before the hour rather than having it from the start.

But he is clearly making quite an impression at that level. “A passionate guy, very mature, loves the game,” said ITV pundit Roy Keane. Onwards and upwards for him then, we hope, as England’s autumn programme now enters a more competitive phase against Belgium on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday.

Thomas Publications