Dear Diary Entry 117

Heading Back To The Midlands

Elliott Bennett in his post-Wolves time at Bury.

Tuesday, June 8: Word reaches us that Elliott Bennett has been released following five years at Blackburn, where he succeeded another former Wolves man, Charlie Mulgrew, as club captain. The 32-year-old Telford lad has signed for Shrewsbury and previously achieved a minor toehold in international football by being called up in 2015 for friendlies against Venezuela and Cuba by Jamaica, for whom he qualified through his grandparents.

Friday, June 11: Was delighted to use a week in Devon to drop in at the homes of both Colin Lee and Dean Edwards, who are well known to each other after working together at Torquay some years back. As we wrote a few weeks ago, Colin has some ‘pad’ overlooking a bay that currently moors several inactive cruise ships. More of us may soon be seeing Dean’s place as he has it on the market for holiday rental.

Monday, June 14: Rang Fred Kemp to ask permission to pass his contact details on to the Halifax Courier, who wish to interview him about his time at The Shay half a century ago. Our conversation didn’t pass without mention of Italy’s brilliant start to the European Championship and the disclosure from him that his loyalties are divided between they and England – he was, after all, born in Salerno.

Saturday, June 19: Sent a message on Facebook to wish Neil Emblen a happy 50th birthday. We were by no means alone in these parts in expressing our hopes that he has a super day as he continues life in football in America. In his reply, Neil told us that his good mate, Darren Bazeley, was back in New Zealand and would be part of the coaching team behind the Kiwi squad heading for the Olympics in Tokyo.

Thursday, June 24: Amazing to think that it’s 14 years today since Derek Dougan died. The Doog, who was 69, had his own experience of tournament football with his country, making his debut for Northern Ireland in a game against Czechoslavakia in the World Cup finals in Sweden in 1958.

Saturday, June 26: How proud must Mike Stowell have been when pulling up a chair at home this afternoon to watch not one but two Leicester keepers in action in the Denmark v Wales game in Amsterdam? The joy went all one way as it happened, with Kasper Schmeichel and colleagues keeping a clean sheet in a handsome four-goal triumph – and we shouldn’t forget that Stowell had a stint as Danish keeper coach two or three years back.

Paul Simpson in pre-season action for Wolves in Salzburg in 1998.

Sunday, June 27: Much of the on-field Wolves presence at this tournament slipped away in Seville today when Portugal’s reign as European champions ended with their defeat against Belgium. Leander Dendoncker went on in the dying minutes for the victors at a time when Rui Patricio was the only Wolves man on the pitch, Joao Mountinho having already been replaced and Nelson Semedo remaining on the bench throughout.

Saturday, July 3: Our very best wishes go to Paul Simpson, the former Wolves midfielder who we wrote about on here only a few days ago and who has sadly been diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. Reports of his temporary absence from the Bristol City training ground have come as a great shock and we look forward to seeing him back on the touchline very soon.

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