The Fondest Of Send-Offs
Warm Applause As Final Whistle Blows
Yet another tribute to Graham Hughes has reached us – from a fellow fan who was disappointed to miss his funeral.
Glyne Wetton knew the much-loved Wolves historian for decades more than most of us, family excepted, and saw him long after many had had our final meetings.
He pointed out that Graham supported him by attending every one of the events he organised with or on behalf of Bert Williams in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society – and even went in to work at Molineux on Christmas Day.
So we can assume Glyne will be tuning in over the coming days to the available play-back of the funeral (see details at the foot of this article), illness having prevented him from being present on Friday.
We at Wolves Heroes did what Glyne had done at Gerry Harris’s send-off in Claverley in August by being legally and safely present outside Telford Crematorium to pay final respects as the hearse arrived.
And we are grateful to various club personnel, past and present, for telling us of the emotional round of applause from the dozens gathered by the Billy Wright statue two lunchtimes ago as the engine restarted and the journey to Shropshire began following several solemn minutes of contemplation.
Graham, whose twin sister died some years ago, was one of eight children and the eulogy was read by his nephew Andrew, who is from an Oxford branch of the family.
Claire Peters, one of the club’s longest-serving employees, spoke as well and we issue the standard ‘spoiler alert’ as we refer to how she said everyone needed a friend like Graham – and she was so grateful to have had him present in the majority of her life.
Also at the service from Wolves were Steve Bull, who helped carry the coffin, director John Bowater and former secretary Richard Skirrow. Among those paying their respects outside the crematorium were Pam and John Richards and the club’s long-time former groundsman Bill Pilbeam. Board member John Gough had been among the gathering outside Molineux.
“Graham and I have been great friends for over 60 years,” Glyne told us. “When I was teaching in Wolverhampton in the late 1950s, he was working for a heating engineer and came to put a new central heating boiler at the school.
“I took them a cup of tea, got talking to him and found out he first went to Wolves two weeks before my dad took me in 1942. He went to the Wartime Cup qualifying competition game against Manchester City on February 21, when Wolves lost 3-1. My dad took me to Molineux on March 7 against Everton – and we won 11-1!!
“In the war years, clubs could field guest players and we had Jack Rowley of Manchester United playing at no 11. He scored five goals and another guest player, Frank Broome of Villa, netted three. Dennis Westcott scored two and Ernie Stevenson got the other. Graham and I have been friends ever since and he loved talking about the older days.
“I used to drive him around to visit former players or their wives with a basket of fruit. And we always had a meal together at Christmas.
“Despite the covid problems, I was determined to see him last Christmas, so I went to his bungalow in Codsall with a present and we had a chat at the door. Then I heard he had had a fall at home in February and everything happened from then. It was a very sad day when we heard he had passed away.”
*Graham’s funeral is available to watch on play-back (we are told up to and including Thursday, April 22) at www.obitus.com by entering the username goxa7374 and the password 240001.