Dear Diary Entry 114

Of Wolves And England

Coming in late May.

Wednesday March 3: Am looking forward to the forthcoming book by lifelong Wolves fan Bob Bannister about all the England internationals who have played for the club. This has been a major project for a man whose presence at Molineux dates back to just after the war and centres on some three dozen players from 1887 right up to Conor Coady. Wolves’ England Internationals: 1887 to present day contains a detailed account of each of the selected players, with reports, line-ups and scorers from the 300 international games that contained Wolves representation. More details on this 360-page £15 paperback, including how to order, are available from the publishers by emailing gpbooks@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, March 5: Interesting to see Paul Cook aiming high after replacing Paul Lambert as Ipswich’s manager. The 54-year-old former Wolves midfielder talked about reaching for the stars and quickly set his sights on automatic promotion this season – a tough ask given the Suffolk club’s slide from prominence. Still, he has a promotion-winning pedigree, having taken Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan up and also done brilliantly with Sligo.

Saturday, March 6: And so, unthinkably, a second consecutive Villa v Wolves derby is played out in an empty stadium. Another meeting that would presumably have had 40,000 in attendance becomes a victim of lockdown for the second time and we are confined to watching on TV. Sad, bemusing times….

Sunday, March 14: Sad, also, to see that Kenny Jackett has been sacked by Portsmouth after the club’s run of one win in seven games. At a time when Mick McCarthy is flying with Cardiff, the end at Fratton Park came shortly after the Watford legend returned to his desk and the training ground following an arm operation. He achieved Wembley success with Pompey as well as twice qualifying for the play-offs, so hopefully his reputation can survive this parting of the ways without much bother.

Monday, March 15: More moving scenes at Wolves’ home game against Liverpool tonight – the first Molineux match day since the passing-away of Graham Hughes. Conor Coady is always a brilliant ambassador for the club and was the perfect man for the pre-match task of laying a floral arrangement in front of the stand bearing the name of the much-loved historian.

Saturday, March 20: Thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed by long-time former BBC radio man Tim Beech when he stood in to present a music show on WCR this morning. Hosting a programme from a studio just down the Newhampton Road from Molineux was a new experience for him but he took it in his stride like the true pro he is. Great, as ever, to chat with him at length on Wolves matters.

Wednesday, March 24: Happened upon some footage, via Twitter, of a Wolves game that feels as though it’s from a lifetime ago – Wolves 1 Oxford 2 in 1985, with Jim Smith’s visitors on their way to the top flight and the hapless side under the control of Tommy Docherty free-falling to Division Three. There was a Campbell Chapman equaliser that was celebrated, according to Bob Hall, as though Wolves had won the cup, but two goals at the other end brought further pain and more pertinent now was the comment from the veteran Central TV presenter that the away fans on the South Bank outnumbered the home ones.

Bernard Shaw pictured in a game at Chelsea.

Monday, March 29: Heard an interesting follow-up to the sad story we posted about the death of Mick Kent at the weekend. Among the messages we received was one from a Sheffield Wednesday supporter who remembered him turning up on trial at Hillsborough and subsequently earning a contract. He also sent a photo of a story from the club programme which revealed that the man who had urged manager Derek Dooley to take a look at him was none other than former full-back Bernard Shaw, who had spent several years at Wolves with Mick before himself returning to the steel city.

Thursday, April 1: Appalling news today about the death of Telford-born ex-Wolves youngster Lee Collins, the 32-year-old captain of Yeovil. What can you say about a bombshell like this? No further details have been released – our deepest condolences go to his family and close friends.

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