A Strange Reserve Of Talent

Curious Match-Up Of Hopefuls Who Became Great Mates

Bob Hazell – had had two Wolves spells by the time he played in a Leicester v Albion reserve game that featured six men who would move to Molineux in the next two years.

How many Wolves players can you cram into a competitive match between two altogether different clubs? Rival sides, no less, who have blue and white as their primary colours.

Try SEVEN as the astonishing answer! And all of them had highly prominent careers at Molineux before or after this unusual meeting.

Even more remarkably, four of them were close to each other on the away side’s team-sheet and three wore successive shirt numbers for the hosts.

We trust none of our readers will be able to pinpoint the said fixture – it was a Central League clash between Leicester and Albion at Filbert Street on March 10, 1986.

Ron Saunders or one of his chosen right-hand men named Alistair Robertson, Andy Thompson and Steve Bull for this early-evening Monday game, with Robbie Dennison as substitute. Within a year and four days, the quartet were lining up together for Wolves in a Fourth Division match at home to Swansea.

In the Leicester team were two men who would also sign at Molineux as part of Graham Turner’s highly impressive team-rebuilding, Mark Venus and Rob Kelly, and someone whose two stints on this patch were already behind him, Bob Hazell.

They played at no 3, no 4 and no 5 respectively in a side who were narrowly defeated, the East Midlanders being managed at the time by Gordon Milne.

Kelly, better known at Wolves for his coaching work than a playing career sadly curtailed very early by a back injury, moved to Molineux a few months after Robertson, Thompson and Bull and just before Dennison.

Venus followed in the latter weeks of the 1987-88 campaign, injury and his ineligibility for the Sherpa Van Trophy seeing to it that he missed out on the best remembered games at the end of that double-winning season.

Also in action in the Central League game for Leicester were Tommy Williams, Mark Bright and, more curiously, Laurie Cunningham, the forward Albion had helped to prominence nearly a decade earlier. What’s more, Cunningham also played in the First Division meeting of the two clubs a few days later.

The reserve game was won 1-0 by Albion, for whom Dennison went on for Tony Grealish just after half-time and for whom the goal came from Garth Crooks.

On January 10, 1989, Venus, Thompson, Robertson, Bull, Dennison and Kelly were all on the pitch for Wolves together in a home win over Cardiff, the last two having gone on from the bench.

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