Winger Was In Shake-Up For Robson Farewell
Italia 90 was all about Steve Bull as far as Wolves fans are concerned but there is considerable secondary interest in the tournament in retrospect if we are prepared to look for it.
Three of the striker’s fellow squad members served later at Molineux, as did two members of the Republic of Ireland party who prospered under Jack Charlton.
Dave Beasant, then of Chelsea but best known as Wimbledon’s FA Cup winning captain in 1988, wasn’t in Bobby Robson’s original squad but was called up as a replacement after David Seaman had to withdraw through injury.
Beasant had a month on loan at Molineux in the second half of 1992-93 and it was more than a decade later that the star of England’s ultimately thrilling run to the semi-finals, Tottenham’s Paul Gascoigne, pitched up here for a trial during Dave Jones’ time as manager.
The other Wolves-connected individual in Robson’s tournament squad 32 years ago was not a player here at all but someone in the backroom. Steve Hodge (then of Nottingham Forest) has spent time working in the Compton academy in relatively recent seasons.
And it’s not too much of a stretch to wonder whether another man who came here some considerable time after the heartbreak of our penalty shoot-out defeat against West Germany might have been on that plane to Sardinia and beyond.
Tony Daley, as well known as a Wolves fitness coach as a big-money Wolves player, was at Molineux in a book-promotion capacity for the game against Arsenal ten days ago, when we had the chance to briefly question him. We asked how close he had gone to summer selection at the end of a 1989-90 season in which he played 31 times during Villa’s feat of finishing as top-flight runners-up to Liverpool under Graham Taylor.
“Pretty close,” he said. “I was named in a couple of squads that season without getting on and it was a year or two later when I made my England debut.”
One of those call-ups came on the famous night that Bull and Gascoigne came to major prominence in England’s 4-2 Wembley win over Czechoslovakia in April, 1990. When the flying winger did get on the pitch for the first time in the three lions, it was as a substitute for Andy Sinton in the 1-1 draw against Poland in Poznan that secured our qualification for Euro 92 in Sweden.
Daley won seven England caps in all, exclusively in 1991 and 1992 and under Taylor, but didn’t play for his country again following his appearances in Malmo and Stockholm at the European Championships.
The Irish duo from Italia 90 who had subsequent Molineux spells of contrasting lengths are Mick McCarthy and David Kelly.
McCarthy, a 31-year-old Millwall centre-half at the time, was the Republic’s captain in Italy while their squad also included a blond striker who was then with Leicester but destined to move to Wolves in the summer of 1993 from Newcastle.