A Poignant Trip Home

Bobby’s Tribute To Fearsome Captain

Bobby Gould scores for Coventry at Arsenal, one of the clubs he later joined.

Proud Coventry boy Bobby Gould is making another visit to the city of his birth – but not for Wolves’ visit there this afternoon.

Bruno Lage’s squad continue the countdown to their season at what used to be known as the Ricoh Arena, although Gould’s latest homecoming will be in altogether sadder circumstances.

He is high on the guest-list for the funeral in the middle of this month of Sky Blues legend George Curtis, who died a fortnight ago aged 82.

“George and I go back a long way to the time I was finding my feet in professional football,” Gould said.

“He was a colossus in our side for many years and was brilliant at looking after me and other young lads. He took me under his wing and when I was more established, we had such laughs as room-mates.

“I had a habit of winding him up with my cheekiness and kept calling him Odd Job one night at Southampton after we had all been to the cinema. It ended with him threatening me and then putting me out in the corridor with my mattress and pillow – and only being let back in the room when Jimmy Hill walked past.

“Another time at Middlesbrough, George and John Sillett took on the coach driver, Hughie Spencer, and me. We were beating them and John took it upon himself to ram a waste paper basket so forcefully over Hughie’s head that he had to go to hospital to have it cut off!”

The funeral of the man regarded as the finest centre-half and skipper in the club’s history will take place in Coventry Cathedral and Wolves fans at the game today may well see his name in the fixtures and fittings.

Curtis, having been recognised with a lounge in his honour at the old Highfield Road stadium, had the ‘Wall of Fame’ at the new one named after him. He then became one of the club’s life presidents in 2012.

Gould remains active at 75 and, as well as still playing in his village cricket team, is due to meet up with his former Bristol Rovers team-mate, Tony Pulis, for golf in the next few days. He is also checking his diary to see whether he can make the Wolves Former Players golf day this autumn.

Gould in recent years with the match ball from when he scored a hat-trick for Wolves against Manchester United in October, 1970.

“We had a little break at Tony’s place in Poole not long ago because we go back a long way as friends,” the former Wolves striker added. “Our son Jonathan, who is now back in New Zealand, worked as goalkeeper coach at three of his clubs, Albion, Middlesbrough and Preston.

“Although travelling to New Zealand is off the agenda for us for now, we are keeping busy and staying active. Jonathan left his border terrier, Archie, behind this time, so there is plenty of dog walking for me for the first time in my life.”

*Bobby’s autobiography, 24 Carat Gould, contains numerous amusing stories from his career in playing and managing and was ghost-written and published by Wolves Heroes’ David Instone.

Thomas Publications