All Very PC!

Palmer On Parade – The Uncovered Evidence

Geoff Palmer….with a hairstyle Bill McGarry had problems with.

Interesting footage has emerged of Geoff Palmer making the unusual transition from football to law enforcement.

The 1986 change of career was seen as radical enough for Central TV to present a feature on the story through Bob Hall, a well-known face and voice in Molineux circles.

And the man himself was amused when he caught up on the film at the weekend after we at Wolves Heroes directed him to it.

Hall introduced the piece by referring to the precarious nature of mid-1980s Molineux life and saying the veteran full-back was heading for safer employment but not necessarily calmer waters.

He also said that, for the then 32-year-old, ‘penalties would have a whole new meaning.’

Leaving the lights of the studio behind, the film kicks off with Palmer fiercely despatching a penalty at the North Bank end against Stoke and being congratulated by Andy Gray. Commentary is by Hugh Johns.

There is then a lengthy look at Constable 9029 in the West Midlands Police, complete with bobby’s hat, moustache and a uniform still not smart enough to prevent his superior officer from saying it needed a brush-down.

“I think that bit was just for the cameras!” Palmer laughs. “He had a go about my shoes as well.

“I was forever being told about getting my hair cut as well and used to go the barber’s most Mondays to have the smallest bit taken off. It’s a good job I didn’t have to pay for it.”

In the 1min 52sec item, Palmer is seen on parade and filing out of the Tally Ho! headquarters in Birmingham before he and other new recruits started a 14-week training course at Ryton in Coventry.

The double League Cup winner, whose first station posting was at Walsall, was also interviewed in the canteen and said he believed his strict football upbringing under Bill McGarry would stand him in good stead for the discipline required by his new career.

Given that Palmer remained in the force for 24 years, it is safe to assume he regarded his job choice as a good one.

It is worth recording also that he played several Fourth Division games for Wolves – and did some coaching alongside Graham Turner – in the weeks before ending his second Molineux spell in the autumn of 1986.

Not that he turned his back altogether on the game that had provided his livelihood for a decade and a half. Bob Hall informed us that Palmer was going to be playing at left-back for the West Midlands Police side against Northfield in the Midland Combination premier division the following week.

How YouTube shows how the new PC on the block looked 33 years ago.

We suggest that typing ‘Geoff Palmer police’ into the YouTube search engine should lead you to the feature in question. It was sent to Wolves Heroes semi-anonymously by a non football fan who found it on a VHS tape and kindly converted it to a more modern format.

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