Dear Diary Entry 141

Forward Provides Voice Of Experience

Tom Bennett – a place alongside goalscorer Don Goodman in Walsall’s victorious play-off final side 22 years ago.

Saturday, May 27: Good to see Keith Andrews and Don Goodman on play-off final duty for Sky Sports, with the striker reaching a special anniversary in the process. It is exactly 22 years today since his goal for Walsall in their League One play-off final victory over Reading at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium – a game that also featured Tom Bennett in Saddlers red and Adrian Williams in Royals blue.

Sunday, May 28: Interesting to hear about the fate of some former Wolves transfers on this final day of the Premier League season. George Friend and Jordan Graham have both been given free transfers by Birmingham and Richard Stearman from Derby.

Wednesday, May 31: Was reminded by Richard Skirrow that there was an extra Molineux-related winner over play-off final weekend. Sheffield Wednesday had ex-Wolves youngster Michael Ihiekwe at the heart of their defence in Monday’s Wembley victory over Barnsley – and in almost two dozen other games this season. The 30-year-old Liverpudlian had three seasons at Molineux early last decade and was an unused first-team substitute on a handful of occasions before deciding his future lay elsewhere.

Monday, June 12: Was sad to hear about the death of 1960s Wolves reserve David Cooke, who we featured on here Wolves Heroes » Blog Archive » Cooke’s Tour – At Home And Abroad eight years ago. The popular defender was 76 and diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017. Even those of us who didn’t meet him will raise a glass in his memory when his funeral takes place tomorrow in Braintree, Essex.

Wednesday, June 14: Went along with John Lalley to Sir Jack Hayward’s statue to pay our respects to him on what would have been his 100th birthday. It just felt like the right thing to do…..he achieved and gave so much here and beyond and did so with such humour and sense of fun.

Thursday, June 22: Used a week’s holiday in Devon to have a coffee with Match of the Day commentator John Roder near his home in Teignmouth – the first time our paths had crossed since he was up here for Wolves’ home victory over Brentford in the spring. Was lucky to find him around as his job takes him so far and wide. Let’s just say he could never afford to let his passport expire.

Cyrille Regis – another book about him is on the way.

Monday, June 26: Have enjoyed doing the research for the Wolves section of a forthcoming book on Cyrille Regis. Hard to believe that it’s already well over five years since the striker died aged only 59, former players from Albion, Wolves and Villa having competed in a golf tournament in his memory early last month.

Thursday, June 29: This Sunday (July 2) is the date for a game featuring former Wolves and Burnley players at AFC Gnosall, between Stafford and Newport. Kick-off is 2.30pm, with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and John Pender, the centre-half who loyally served both clubs long before being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, among the beneficiaries.