Dear Diary Entry 100

Milestone Time Is Here Already

Wow, where did all those years go? It doesn’t seem long since we launched our popular ‘Dear Diary’ feature and here we are marking its 100th entry! It started in August, 2011, with mention of our role in picking up Jim McCalliog and his wife Debbie from Wolverhampton railway station and taking them to Frank Munro’s funeral. Eight and a half years on, we hope and trust that the content continues to provoke plenty of interest.

Phil Nicholls. Geoff Palmer, Phil Parkes, John Richards and Steve Daley are accompanied by the Wolves Former Players’ Association’s Richard Green and various charity representatives in celebrating the handing-over of £6,000 to local causes in 2019.

Wednesday, January 1: New year, new horizons…..and all those Wolves days and nights to look forward to. Much later in 2020, those dates will include money-raising golf competitions, which makes this a good time to reflect on all the good work in such areas last year. Maureen Parkes Breast Care Fund, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Good Shepherd Services and The Haven were the main beneficiaries and the Wolves Former Players’ Association’s target will be to deliver big time again in the coming months.

Saturday, January 4: Port Vale keeper Scott Brown must have been a relieved man at Manchester City today after walking off on the end of only a 4-1 FA Cup third-round defeat. The former Wolves youngster, now approaching the 500-game mark in his career in first-team football, had let it be known – including when sat next to me at West Ham’s visit to Molineux last month – that he feared a right hammering at the Etihad based on City’s past performances against the minnows. What transpired sounded respectable at least – and what an experience for him!

Wednesday, January 8: Was sorry to have to disappoint the Egyptian football statistician who had asked me to try to set up an interview for him with Richie Barker. The Molineux no 2 to John Barnwell won the African Champions Cup in 1986 when manager of Zamalek SC but our information suggests he is not well enough to speak to the TV channel the Cairo-based club are soon launching.

Thursday, January 16: Was thrilled to be asked to join, for the first time, the committee deciding on the Hall of Fame nominations at Wolves. John Richards, the aforementioned Richard Green, historian Pat Quirke, Paul Berry and long-time Express & Star sports editor Steve Gordos are others who will be sitting in judgement when we meet later this month.

Sunday, January 26: Nice to receive a text from former Shrewsbury chairman Ray Bailey pointing to the quiet coffee we had together this morning as the ‘obvious lucky omen’ behind the thrilling 2-2 FA Cup draw against Liverpool that he attended at the New Meadow this afternoon. Ray’s happiest days in office were those he spent with Fred Davies as his manager in the mid-1990s and the Molineux connection in Shropshire is clearly continuing apace with the presence there these days of Sam Ricketts, Dave Edwards and Scott Golbourne.

Friday, January 31: Enjoyed undertaking a long overdue speaking engagement at Wolverhampton Literary Festival tonight – overdue because I had wanted to give a bit back at this event in the last two years. Nice to see some familiar Wolves faces in an audience of about 30 at the city’s Art Gallery and to be assured that some stories from my 30-plus years in the Molineux press box had been well received.

Saturday, February 1: For the second season running, found myself among the Manchester United fans for Wolves’ Premier League visit to Old Trafford this afternoon. It was a good away performance in a dullish game – and a reminder of how much at home Nuno’s squad are looking, even in this sort of exalted company. They were every bit as likely to score a winner as United.

Derek Ryan (right) at home in Ireland with Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips.

Monday, February 3: Belated thanks to Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips for sending us a photo of Derek Ryan after we carried an article on the mid-1980s Wolves hopeful just after Christmas. Johnny interviewed the former striker in Ireland as part of the Bitten By Wolves book we have written about a couple of times and happily had the accompanying picture taken with him.

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