Striker Meets Keeper Again….This Time With A Happy Outcome
It started with a warning for straying too close and ended in fits of laughter. Ok, there were 55 years between the two events and it isn’t really a final act at all – but no worries for now on that score…..
Bobby Gould and Phil Parkes were opponents as far back as the late 1960s, although not, as might be assumed, in the famous spring-time Coventry-Wolves clash when the two Midlands rivals were sealing their promotion from the Second Division together in the days when there was no play-off safety net for those finishing outside the top two.
The powerful forward was injured at the time and had to wait a bit longer for a first crack on the big stage against the club he had occasionally watched in his early teens by jumping on a bus from his home city.
He was in Arsenal’s colours by the time the opening salvos in hostilities with the young Lofty were fired – and the keeper has never let him forget the more unsavoury events of that Wednesday night in late August.
“Whenever I had the ball in my hands ready to kick it, he seemed to appear right in my face, being a pain and trying to impede me,” Parkes said.
“I said: ‘Gouldy, if you do that again, I’ll nut you.’ He ignored the warning and I put one on him when the officials weren’t looking. He’s on the ground, holding his head and everyone’s wondering and asking what’s happened.
“I yelled: ‘Ref, he’s trying to get me sent off!’ And, unlike at home to Albion a year or two earlier, I got away with it and stayed on the pitch.”
Gould was almost doubled up laughing at the summary of the conflict when appearing as the star turn at the latest Wolf Whistle Podcast charity night hosted by Jason Guy.
It will have surprised no-one who remembers him from before, during or after his two productive Molineux spells that he could be an utter nuisance to opposing defenders and goalkeepers. Making their lives difficult for 90 minutes was all part of his role.
And there was more merriment at the recollection that Bill McGarry and Sammy Chung paired the two men as room-mates when Wolves went to Tel Aviv for a friendly against the Israeli national side at the end of 1970-71.
Gould has been one of the interviewees for Guy’s forthcoming ‘Tales of the Tape part two‘ book and, under the spotlight at the Mount Hotel in Tettenhall Wood, showed himself to be a natural in the spoken-word role.
Parkes can hold an audience equally well and this reunion worked a treat, with Terry Wharton, Colin Brazier, Mel Eves, Dale Rudge and Jon Purdie also among the 100-plus turn-out.
“We got lost driving through Wolverhampton today because I’m not great with the satnav and we actually lived at Sutton Coldfield when I had my two spells here,” Gould said. “But I have very happy memories of my time with the club.
“We had a good entertaining side the first time round especially and I’m sure I would have stayed much longer had a young lad called John Richards not been around with his eyes on winning a first-team place.
“When I came back in 1976, Wolves were on the way to the Second Division but we got back at the first attempt and I scored a few more goals to help them.”
There is much more to the Gould story from other parts of the country and he opened up about his success in overseeing Wimbledon’s hugely improbable FA Cup triumph of 1988 – a shock of a magnitude Eves predicted would never be repeated – his frustrations at being (like Brazier) an unused substitute in a winning cup final team at Wembley and his crash-and-burn experience as Albion manager.
There was also the admission that he did not feel cut out to be the boss of Wales as he had not graduated to international status himself as a player.
We at Wolves Heroes ghost-wrote and published his 2011 autobiography, 24 Carat Gould, the cut-price sale of which at Thursday’s dinner helped boost profits in a small way.
If anyone is interested in the same concession and a £10 purchase of a publication jam-packed with stories about Jimmy Hill, Sir Alex Ferguson, Mick McCarthy, Derek Dougan, Don Howe, Trevor Brooking and even Princess Diana, please let us know and we will facilitate a handover.
Guy is a fine MC as well as a magnificent fund-raiser and budding author, and revealed that tickets for this event had sold out in 72 hours, so helping raise a further £3,414 for The 1P36 Family, Breast Cancer Now and The RWT NHS Charity.