Billy In A Rare Spot Of Bother

Questions Asked Over Admiration Of Banksy

Molineux clattering part one: Gordon Banks prepares for the moment of impact with Ron Flowers in a Wolves v Leicester game.

Long-time team-mate of Phil Parkes he may have been but Derek Dougan was not reticent about revealing that he had tried to persuade Wolves to buy Gordon Banks in the second half of the 1960s.

It also seems that Billy Wright’s stainless reputation was once slightly threatened by a separate attempt to take the master keeper away from Leicester.

Long before Banks was working wonders for Leicester and England, he was linked with a move to Arsenal during Billy’s time as manager there.

The story dates back to 1963, is told in Banksy: My Autobiography and reveals how the legendary Molineux and national captain even got in a bit of hot water over the matter. 

“My performances for Leicester and my inclusion in the England team led to a number of clubs enquiring about my availability,” the 2002 publication states.

“Newcastle, Wolves and Aston Villa made official approaches but Matt Gillies and the City board were adamant (I wasn’t leaving).

“That suited me fine as I was very happy with life in Leicester. Another club seemingly impressed by my performances was Arsenal.

Molineux clattering part two: Bobby Gould lets Banksy know he’s around in a Midlands derby against Stoke.

“Their manager, Billy Wright, appeared before the Football League accused of making an illegal approach to me. In Billy’s defence, I can honestly say that I have no recollection of this. He certainly didn’t call me at home because Ursula and I didn’t have a telephone.

“All I can think of is that a bit of gentle nudging on the part of Arsenal’s George Eastham, who’d often told me that I’d enjoy life at Highbury, had been blown out of all proportion.”

Banks and Eastham became England colleagues three years after Wright’s retirement as a player, the keeper making his international debut against Scotland in April, 1963.

They linked up much later in 1966-67, as Stoke team-mates, by which time Dougan was starting to weave his magic at Molineux.

He had been a Leicester team-mate of Banks’s and admitted he did chat to the keeper with a view to him heading for Wolves as well while Parkes learned his craft for another few years.

 

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