Dear Diary Entry 105

Paul Harks Back To Happier Times

Paul Lambert on a Wolves programme front cover.

Saturday, June 6: Belatedly caught up online with a terrific interview with Paul Lambert in the Daily Mail. The former Wolves manager’s career is rather in the doldrums with a relegation at Stoke followed by the drop into League One with Ipswich and then a pre-lockdown slide down the table. But the long feature about a playing career that included a man-of-the-match performance for Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League final victory over Juventus, in which he marked Zinedene Zidane was great reading.

Thursday, June 11: Was informed about and subsequently sent a paperback book written by Wolves fan Brian Jones. ‘Misspent Youth’ has some nice lines from a talented young footballer and cricketer – described as a bit of a Peter Knowles lookalike – who would have loved a chance at his beloved Molineux but instead found opportunity knocking at Walsall and Shrewsbury. He didn’t ‘make it’ in the sense of reaching the first team at either but, along with Albion’s Lyndon Hughes, he was part of a Smethwick team who had a good run in the English Schools Trophy and was brought up knowing comedienne Julie Walters, whose brother Kevin became Wolves’ physio.

Wednesday, June 17: We speak frequently by email to Les Wilson anyway but can be sure there will be an increase in messaging when Premier League football resumes on Saturday. There is clearly an extra spring in Les’s stride on every match day and he never ceases being grateful for the high number of live games he is able to watch on big-screen TV at home in Vancouver while exercising. His pride in the current Wolves squad is extremely high.

Saturday, June 27: The obvious delight of hearing that Wolves had completed their first League double over Villa since 1962-63 was tempered by the news that Fortuna Dusseldorf had been relegated. Our increased interest in Bundesliga matters is down to Rob Kelly’s presence there under the leadership of Uwe Rosler. In these unprecedented times, the duo achieved a modest upturn in results after being appointed in February but the club’s lack of wins proved costly and the final straw was today’s defeat at Union Berlin, who are a very different club to the one Wolves won at on their 1998 tour of Austria and Germany.

Monday, June 29: Well done to Keith Curle for leading Northampton to promotion to League One. They may have finished only seventh in the season proper and sneaked into the play-offs by a whisker but they produced a tremendous fightback to win their semi-final against Cheltenham and then thrashed Exeter 4-0 in the final. Good luck to Kenny Jackett now for Portsmouth’s semi-final against Oxford in League One, starting on Friday.

Conor Coady – on the rise.

Wednesday, July 1: Nice to receive a message from Charles Bamforth in California, saying he enjoyed our Media Watch article on Steve Tongue. Mention in it of Alan Sunderland reminded him of how he was standing in the crowd at Wembley as the former Wolves utility man chose that same end to score Arsenal’s dramatic last-gasp FA Cup final winner over Manchester United in 1979. But the tale of how Charles came by a ticket is quite a story in itself. Then living in West Sussex, he found his doting wife Diane willing to queue at Highbury for tickets for the Gunners’ semi-final against Wolves while he went to watch John Barnwell’s side win at Chelsea on the same afternoon. When it became apparent that Arsenal were selling only one ticket per person, he unselfishly let a close Gunners-supporting friend have it off him – but reward was round the corner. The same mate secured an ask-no-questions ticket for him for Wembley through a lower-division club!

Saturday, July 4: All Wolves fans will be happy to see Nuno reach the 150-game landmark as head coach at Molineux. Today’s home clash with Arsenal took him to the milestone figure on a day when defenders Matt Doherty and Conor Coady moved level with the men immediately above them in the Legends list that shows the club’s all-time highest appearance-makers.

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