Dear Diary Entry 103

Oops, Look Away, Lofty!

We did wonder a month or two ago whether we would have enough material to maintain this item during lockdown – but here we are. The time may not exactly have flown by for any of us but, for now, the ideas have flowed!

Phil Parkes…….Upton Park memories.

Monday, April 6: Found it! Ever since we spoke to Phil Parkes a few days ago, we had vowed to check up on a goal Bobby Moore once stuck past him at West Ham. Lofty talked in our March 30 interview about a 3-0 Wolves defeat at Upton Park and wondered whether it was the one in which he helped in a shot from long range by England’s heroic World Cup captain. We can now clear up for him that the match he was referring to was the 3-3 First Division draw on November 14, 1970. The 24 minutes of surviving footage from that goal feast is on YouTube, presented by Dickie Davies, who has Bobby Charlton and one of Wolves’ scorers, Bobby Gould, with him to provide expert opinion.

Thursday, April 9: Stumbled on a nice bit of insight on post-war Wolves wing-half Willie Forbes during a lockdown re-read of Tommy Docherty’s autobiography My Story. The Doc educated those of us too young to have our own memories by writing of his fellow Glaswegian and one-time Preston team-mate: “He did a holding job in midfield but was more than just a stopper. He was all-action and had a formidable tackle, an explosive shot and the necessary vision and distribution to be regarded as a classy play-maker. He never knew the meaning of defeat and his stamina enabled him to battle right through to the end of a game, even when pitches resembled molasses.”

Friday, April 10: Another mention for Gouldy! How lucky he and wife Marge were to get home from New Zealand on the last available flights in March has been underlined by the plight of another famous Coventry sportsman, David Moorcroft. BBC have screened a ‘cam’ interview in which the double Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former world 5,000m record holder spoke about the inconvenience and high expense of being stuck indefinitely in the country with his wife after an extended holiday Down Under.

Tuesday, April 14: So what is your favourite game played by Wolves under floodlights? Clive Corbett and Steve Gordos would love to hear your recollections. The duo are embarking on their latest book and are seeking contributions from fans, players and anyone else with a love of Wolves. It doesn’t have to be occasions with the magnitude of Honved in 1954, Leeds in 1972 or Wolves 5 Arsenal 1, nor even games played at night. And it can be an away game. Feel free to email them on and maybe have your story published, whether it relates to a football spectacular or a more personal reason for your choice.

Wednesday, April 22: A word for those who think scrapping the current season is the way to go when English football finally emerges from lockdown….if games don’t restart until, say, mid-August and the 2020-21 campaign therefore doesn’t begin until about mid-October, what happens then if we have a second or third wave and there’s another interruption? That could easily be two seasons in a row that are not finished. See this one through first, I say, whenever that might be possible, then make the best use we can of the time available next autumn, winter and spring.

Les Wilson in Canada showing off number-plate tributes to his two favourite English clubs.

Saturday, May 2: We don’t usually refer in this column directly to stories we have published but the sign-off to our weekend chat with Micky Holmes might be worth an exception. Aghast at just how long it is since his eye-opening scoring exploits in Wolves’ midfield, I said: “Nothing has changed over the last 30-odd years, Mick….you keep making the news and I’ll keep reporting it.”

Monday, May 4: Had our spirits lifted by a 25-minute phone call from the ever-caring Les Wilson in Vancouver. There was no reason other than just to check we were okay in these challenging times. As if that wasn’t enough, he was going to ring Alan Hinton and our good mutual friend Charles Bamforth straight afterwards. Oh…and then call David Burnside’s widow in Bristol today. We have just one complaint about Les – that he doesn’t still live within travelling distance of Wolverhampton!

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