Dear Diary Entry 121

Find Us Keepers!

Zeljko Kalac pictured in 2012.

Saturday, October 9: Our sincere thanks to Peter Crump for coming up with an amazing piece about Wolves’ band of Australian goalkeepers. Yes, it might appear a bit of a niche subject but the Wolverhampton-based Molineux fanatic, who did so much to help with Jim McCalliog’s recent book promotional tour, has opened our eyes. He tells us that the club signed Zeljko Kalac, Steve Mautone, Andy Petterson, Frank Talia, Danny Milosevic and Adam Federici – and they didn’t play a single first-team game between them. Look out for a follow-up to this brief summary in the coming weeks….

Tuesday, October 12: Great to play a small part, with the provision of the contact details of Vancouver-based Les Wilson, in the planning of some Zoom meetings that might just kick off soon among a sizeable group of 1960s and 1970s Wolves players. Some are more computer-literate than others but what a super way of getting together this would be considering the miles between them in some cases – and the difficulties of the pandemic, of course.

Monday, October 18: Was disappointed to hear that a meeting with Evan Williams was not going to be possible on the Scotland trip that John Lalley and I are departing on before dawn tomorrow. We are taking in Europa League games at Celtic and Rangers in the space of just over 48 hours but Evan – a former Celtic keeper who has worked for many years as an ambassador for the club after a brief spell with Wolves in the late 1960s – is currently not well enough to attend matches.

Friday, October 22: I knew I could rely on John Lalley to find the right words to sum up our trip. Following the thrill of sitting behind the goals at 2-0 home wins at Celtic Park and Ibrox and having a highly convivial three-night stay at the lovely Langside B & B run by Debbie and Jim McCalliog, John said just before we parted back in the Midlands at teatime: “Well, I have been part of two wonderful European occasions, had a glimpse of Hampden Park from the outside, visited the old Third Lanark ground, had my breakfast served for three days by Jim McCalliog and had afternoon tea with Norman Bell today at his place near Blackburn. That’s what you call a special football trip!”

Tuesday, October 26: Enjoyed being asked by former BBC WM man Tim Beech on to his WCR FM morning show this coming Saturday for an interview. No doubt newly-published books, as well as Molineux performances and progress, will be on the agenda during our chat.

Saturday, October 30: Quite a thrill to see Wolves give such prominence on their official website to my exclusive interview with Don Gardner. The last couple of days of Black History Month made this as good a time as any to publish our definitive piece on the club’s black first-team player – and the encouraging feedback on social media was another reason for feeling pleased with the outcome.

Alex Rae…..happiest in his Ibrox domain.

Monday, November 1: These are happy days again for Wolves. It was some game against Everton tonight, the first half especially, with Raul Jimenez’s 50th senior competitive goal for the club and Max Kilman’s first as the highlights. Nice also to see Matt Murray, who chatted away happily with press box regulars Andy Thompson and Mel Eves before going off to his own microphone high above Molineux.

Wednesday, November 3: A final word, not so much on seeing Celtic beat Wolves’ 1972 UEFA Cup semi-final opponents Ferencvaros as watching Rangers bring down Brondby two nights later… galling it is to learn well after the event that Alex Rae was present at Ibrox as a co-commentator and we had no idea!

Thomas Publications