’70s Icons’ Trio Delight Big Audience
They were worshipped on the pitch for years, their presence and words have filled rooms for decades and now the stars of the 1970s are enjoying an increased profile on stage.
In front of a 425-plus audience at the Telford Theatre in Oakengates last night, John Richards, Steve Daley and Kenny Hibbitt showed why a generation of Wolves fans still can’t get enough of them.
Stories, wise-cracks and mickey-taking came in equal rich measure in the equivalent of 90 minutes plus plenty of stoppage time that brought a standing ovation at the end and underlined the appeal of this formula.
Many’s the time these favourites and others from Molineux have entertained dinner guests or those who go out under a tighter budget to pubs and clubs.
The variety of locations has increased in recent seasons but we are clearly now moving into new ‘meet the players’ territory.
This time there was no clatter of cutlery and crockery or looking on from a distant vantage point at the bar. After all, we were assembled where ‘Fleetwood Shack’ are playing tomorrow night and where Mr Motivator will be strutting his stuff this spring.
Richards has previous, fairly recent experience of ‘treading the boards’ at The Grand in his adopted city and was described as the Lancashire rose between two Yorkshire thorns; probably by himself!
He was confident enough to take control of proceedings for a while after the interval and main host Johnny Phillips, from Sky Sports, wasn’t going to miss the open-goal chance to comment dryly on a cameo that featured some participation from the paying ranks.
“You would never guess that was the bit that was unrehearsed, would you?” he asked the audience.
Daley is a master of self-deprecation at the mic and we were reminded how well he can take some ribbing from his mates, double League Cup winners Hibbitt and Richards (and Wembley 1974 goalscorers, no less) milking the fact that all he got was a garish tracksuit.
So what else did we pick up on? Well, there was surprise at the revelation that Gary Pierce used to have a couple of pints in The Wheel at Codsall before jumping on the bus to play in home games and at how much Hibbitt dislikes VAR. And there was a bit of extra comment about that infamous 1972 Leeds game.
Hibbitt could apparently have followed Daley to Manchester City, after tracing his footsteps in going to Seattle Sounders, and reckoned his fellow Yorkshireman would have become one of the Molineux greats had he stayed put and not become the subject of Britain’s record transfer.
All three men also explained why they had so much to thank Joe Gardiner for around the time of their recruitment at Molineux as youngsters and the conversation skipped along even if by no means all of the stories were new.
We won’t say too much else other than to place this show, or a variation of it, in the ‘recommended’ category for when the excellent Johnny Phillips takes it elsewhere on the patch in the coming months.