A New Slant – By Birth
Placing The Present Into The Past
As a way of giving some context to the ages of the Wolves squad, we have delved back into the record books to see exactly what the club were doing when various high-profile present-day Molineux personnel were born.
We should warn you that this exercise may make us all feel a little older but we hope it will prove to be of considerable interest, too, with the players’ ages given in brackets.
So, we will kick off at the top by saying that manager Nuno Espirito Santo took his first gulp of air on this earth on January 25, 1974, which was the day before Wolves beat Norwich with a John Richards goal in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final.
And there’s real significance to the birthdate of his chosen captain, Conor Coady (27), who arrived on February 25, 1993, which was the day after the death of another man who played as sweeper for England, Bobby Moore.
There’s also a Hammers theme in the case of Willy Boly (29), who was born on February 3, 1991 – the day before Paul Birch and the on-loan Mark Blake made their Wolves debuts in a 2-1 home win over the East Londoners.
In Mexico, one Raul Jimenez (29) was delivered a few weeks later on May 5, which was the day after Wolves drew 1-1 at Blackburn in their final away game of the season, with a John Paskin goal.
By then, Rui Patricio (32) had celebrated his third birthday, having arrived on February 15, 1988, two days after a Steve Bull hat-trick in the mud in a Fourth Division fixture at Exeter.
Leander Dendoncker (25) was actually born on the day of some Bully heroics, although the two goals the striker scored at Charlton on April 15, 1995 were not enough to stave off a 3-2 defeat.
Another match-day arrival was Daniel Podence (25) – on the day (October 21, 1995) on which Tony Daley scored a stunning goal in a 1-1 draw for Graham Taylor’s Wolves away to the manager’s former club Watford.
Romain Saiss (30) made his entrance on March 26, 1990, two days after Sir Jack Hayward had introduced himself as a saviour-in-waiting on the afternoon of a Wolves defeat at Port Vale.
And Adama Traore (24) took his first breath out of the womb on January 25, 1996, a couple of days before that Spurs-Wolves FA Cup tie on a wintry pitch during the opening weeks of Mark McGhee’s reign.
Fast-forwarding just over a year, there was impending unhappiness when two other members of the current squad were born. Ruben Neves (23) was first on March 13, 1997, two days before the defeat at Oldham that saw Wolves’ hopes of automatic promotion start to unravel. And the arrival of Max Kilman (23) on May 23, 1997 came only three days before Crystal Palace (and not their semi-final victims Wolves) met Sheffield United in the play-off final at Wembley.
Among the other prominent members of the playing staff, John Ruddy (34) appeared on October 24, 1986 during the first month of Graham Turner’s long reign and Pedro Neto (20) on March 9, 2000 at the three-quarter stage of Colin Lee’s only full season in charge.
And, in perhaps making regular readers feel a shade older still, we will close by saying that the veteran of Nuno’s squad, Joao Moutinho (34) was welcomed to this world on September 8, 1986 when Wolves, under Brian Little, were three games into their first ever season in the Fourth Division.