In Support Of The Skipper

80 Today And Team-Mates Agree: He’s A Jolly Good Fellow!

Mike Bailey during the all gold early phase of a Wolves career that stretched to almost 11 years.

Wolves favourites from half a century or so ago have rallied around Mike Bailey to make a big family day even more special.

The first man from Molineux ever to get his hands on the League Cup turns 80 tomorrow and team-mates from that exciting period were unwilling to let the occasion go unheralded.

Prominent members of the Wolves Former Players Association organised themselves to come up with a series of video tributes to their captain, who has been celebrating with a family meal.

“We targeted half a dozen of the lads to either record something or get themselves recorded saying something on camera for Mike,” said FPA chairman John Richards.

“Coping with the technology is sometimes a challenge at our age but I have received a few tributes that I have forwarded on Whatsapp to Mike and Barbara’s daughter, Victoria, for them all to enjoy.

“Geoff Palmer, Steve Daley, Jane and Kenny Hibbitt, Les Wilson and myself have all come up with a few words which we hope will be well received when they are played back.

“Even if it’s hard for us to believe that our main Wolves skipper is an 80-year-old, we will be thinking of Mike and his family tomorrow and raising a glass in celebration.”

Victoria was born the day before Bailey lifted the club’s first silverware in 11 years – the 1970-71 Texaco Cup – and was therefore still a toddler when the League Cup followed the best part of three years later.

Her brother, Andy, is older, though, and remains a keen Wolves fan, so his eyes will also be on Sunday afternoon events at the London Stadium.

Just as the skipper, whose dementia was disclosed late in 2020, ran through the proverbial brick wall in the gold and black cause during his phenomenal 436-game career at Molineux, so those around him remain committed to going the extra mile now.

The skipper in his prime.

One of the above quintet prepared his words of praise while on holiday on the Med while Vancouver-based Les Wilson, with the help of wife Lois, showed that a few thousand miles are no obstacle when duty calls.

After Molineux, Les knew the wing-half from games between the Whitecaps and Minnesota Kicks and went to the trouble of preparing a written address that included the compliments: “What a positive impact you had on so many during your outstanding football career, Mike. I have the fondest memories of playing both with you and against you.

“You were an amazing captain and positive leader; the best colleague to have. You can be very proud of your career and legacy. You sprinkled star-dust on so many of us.”

Thomas Publications