David Instone’s article on the extraordinary Molineux career of Stewart Ross heads up the considerable interest Wolves fans will find in the latest issue of Backpass.
A full page is devoted to the man who still lives in Codsall and who, before, during and after his flirtation with first-team football at the club, worked professionally in the city for decades.
‘Debut Like No Other’ is the headline on a piece that reminds us how Ross was effectively summoned from an accountant’s office in Waterloo Road to be blooded in December, 1967 in a huge First Division home game against reigning League champions Manchester United.
That there were 53,940 present for the visit of the side who would lift the European Cup a few months later underlines what a baptism of fire this was for someone who was never more than a part-time professional.
By unhappy coincidence, issue 64 of Backpass is also the one which carries the obituary of Stewart’s namesake, Ian Ross.
The excellent Ivan Ponting details in particular the Scot’s years with Liverpool and Villa, referring to the ‘skill, commitment and intelligence’ that impressed first Bill Shankly and then Ron Saunders.
Similar prominence is given in this section to another Glaswegian, Johnny Walker, whose passing-away earlier in the year we wrote about at length on this site.
Ponting refers to the struggle he had in fending off the rival claims of colleagues like Peter Broadbent despite Wolves first-team service comprising 44 games and 26 goals and sums up: “His career never hit the heights once envisaged but he always gave magnificent value for money.”
This outstanding 64-page magazine also includes a tribute to former Wolves youngster Graham Newton and offers many more references of a gold and black tint.
Ian Storey-Moore is the front-cover subject and inside is the strange tale of how he was paraded as a Derby player before a home game against Wolves, only for the deal to never go through and for him to be signed instead by Manchester United a few days later.
The same article contains the winger’s player-by-player lowdown on Nottingham Forest team-mates who included Frank Wignall and John Barnwell, with the former receiving a special word of praise.
One of the joys of this eagerly-read ten-year-old publication is the Wolves mentions it offers away from articles specifically about Molineux personnel.
Among such references is a letter about Bill Slater by Mike Young, the Blackpool-based son of the late Percy Young, author of two of the definitive early history books about the club.
Mike offers a lovely personal insight on a man he revered during his upbringing in the Midlands and who he also maintained an interest in through the Blackpool connection.
Billy Wright, Kenny Jackett, Brian Little, Peter Withe, Graham Taylor, Dave Wagstaffe, Peter Broadbent….the list of Wolves-related references continues – there’s even an unusual appraisal of Hugh Curran from one of his Oxford team-mates.
To enquire about buying Backpass, which costs £4.70, please click on the icon to the right that shows John Richards on its front cover. Anyone struggling to purchase a copy is welcome to contact us direct.