Dear Diary Entry 111
‘Sid’ Adds To The Sad News
Tuesday, December 1: Caught up on a moving feature with Gordon Cowans in which he spoke of his diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s, aged only 61. He said he no longer worked but was determined to make the most of his good days and was enjoying the Dogs For Good charity work that had raised money for the purchase of two assistance dogs, Sid and Birchy, the latter named in honour of his former Villa and Wolves team-mate, Paul Birch.
Wednesday, December 2: A first for members of the Wolves Fans Parliament and those of us who attend all their meetings. We convened tonight remotely for the first time, having been unable to do so in person since February. It was a very different experience but still a good way to hear updates and views from a number of high-ranking Molineux figures, including Scott Sellars, on several important issues, not least the virus and Brexit.
Monday, December 7: Found myself talking on the phone to Allan Clarke following an interview he gave to Wolverhampton-based reporter David Harrison for Backpass magazine and learned of the Leeds legend’s Molineux links of the late 1950s. It has frequently been said that he grew up an Albion fan but, in checking that he had never been given a trial by Stan Cullis and his backroom team, I was told: “I supported Albion – I think because I liked the colours. But it was three buses to get to The Hawthorns from Short Heath and only one to go to Molineux, so I went to more games at Wolves and watched that great side from the old North Bank.” The nearest the future England forward got to playing in gold and black was when he represented South Staffordshire in schools football.
Thursday, December 10: Talking of Backpass, what a brilliant article on Wolves-developed striker John Galley, a distant relative of pre-war Molineux star Tom Galley, in the latest issue. There were so many good lines in the pieces by writer Dave McVay – a former Notts County player – that we recommend this magazine even more strongly than usual. Also included in issue 72, which has a Manchester United-themed front cover, is reference to the participation of Ron Flowers and Billy Wright in a match at Enfield and obituaries of Richie Barker, Fred Davies and Harry Hooper. If you received money for Christmas or have something in reserve through not being able to attend matches, may we suggest a subscription to this outstanding publication?
Thursday, December 17: Now we can see what John Richards meant when he said his time for micky-taking would soon come after the banter that came his way from former team-mates on the occasion of his 70th birthday at the start of November. Steve Kindon reaches the same landmark today and two more of his closest Wolves pals, Billy Rafferty and Kenny Hibbitt, do so on December 30 and January 3 respectively.
Tuesday, December 22: Another mention of JR and an extra disclosure from Bob Devine, the son of the 1970s and 1980s Wolves director Gerry Devine, who we featured at length on here a few days ago…..a conversation within the family prompted Bob to tell us today that his late parents used to go on holiday to Madeira twice a year – and met John and his wife Pam over there once when he was playing for Maritimo.
Wednesday, December 28: Was delighted to help a one-time relative of Martin Patching (through marriage) reconnect with the man himself after she contacted us by email. It was a task made all the easier by the fact he is such an easy-going guy.
Monday, January 4: Absolutely gutted to have missed the funeral today of the lovely Dot Wooldridge, who would have been thrilled to hear of Ron Flowers being awarded the MBE. Although it had long been accepted that numbers at the service would be very strictly limited to family and closest friends, plans had been put in place for her cortege to pass Molineux. John Richards, Richard Skirrow and even Devon-based Colin Lee were among those hoping to pay their respects by being outside the stadium – alas, even that group effort became illegal under tier 4 restrictions.