Dear Diary Entry 136

Fergie Mark Two Eyes Another Promotion

Darren Ferguson on the cover of a 1996-97 Wolves programme.

Wednesday, January 4: Fact IS stranger than fiction. Darren Ferguson is back as manager at Peterborough and looking forward to taking charge of them for the fourth time. Why does a man who appears reluctant to take on opportunities elsewhere keep returning to a club he has left three times? We wish the 50-year-old former Wolves midfielder all the very best and will watch his progress with interest. “I never thought I’d come back a second time, never mind a fourth,” he subsequently says, having led Posh to promotion four times, three of them from the third tier to the Championship.

Monday, January 9: Was persuaded by John Helm during a chance meeting on the circuit to take another look at the wonder goal Bright Enobakhere scored for East Bengal in an Indian fixture at which the veteran TV man was commentating. John has always been a friendly face at Wolves games and beyond and couldn’t resist the chance to hark back at this high spot in the up-and-down career of a former Molineux youngster who turns 25 next week. “What a goal! He has taken on the whole of the Goa defence and proved himself to be a maestro,” Helm said on air. Take a look at Bright Enobakhare’s sensational goal vs FC Goa | Hero ISL 2020-21 – YouTube

Wednesday, January 11: Leon Clarke, like Enobakhare, served Coventry and Wolves and his name has been back on Sky Blues fans’ lips in light of the heroics of Viktor Gyokeres over the last 12 months or so. Much has been said and written in those parts about the 24-year-old Swede as his 21 goals in the calendar year of 2022 had club historians reflecting on the fact it was the best scoring output by a Coventry player since Clarke netted 27 times in 2013. The 37-year-old Clarke’s total was, in turn, the best by a Sky Blue since George Hudson scored 31 in 1963.

Saturday, January 14: Had a great catch-up at Wolves’ home game against West Ham this afternoon with friends from near and far. Geoff Palmer was the former player on pre-match duty in the Worldwide Lounge in the Steve Bull Stand and the pleasure of listening to one or two of his stories was underlined by the fact we had four visitors from Australia in our group. Wolverhampton-born Jacey Wallace, a one-time media student at the University of Wolverhampton, arrived in England with her husband and their two sons on Christmas Day and are busy taking in as many Wolves games as they can during their month-long stay. Precious times for them!

Tuesday, January 17: Had to abandon any thoughts of meeting up with Paul Cook as he arrived in the West Midlands with his Chesterfield squad in the hours leading up to kick-off on FA Cup replay night. By coincidence, while the non-League high-fliers were preparing to face Albion at The Hawthorns, his beloved Liverpool were the visitors to Wolves in another tie that was excitingly drawn a week and a half ago. Maybe we can meet later in the season when the Spirites have a National League game not too far from here….

Don Goodman at Tonbridge for a friendly in July, 1995, ten years on from the horrific Bradford fire.

Tuesday, January 24: Gee, didn’t know this……there was, apparently, considerable concern for the well-being of Terry Yorath’s eight-year-old son, Daniel, amid the horror of the Bradford fire in May, 1985. Yorath was manager at the time at Valley Parade and what should have been a day of celebration for the runaway Third Division champions turned ghastly with the loss of 56 lives during a first-half blaze. Thankfully, Daniel eventually appeared safe and unharmed after becoming separated in the burning stand and now we learn more. Terry’s daughter, Gabby Logan, dedicates a chapter of her brilliant, recently-published autobiography, The First Half, to the tragedy and reveals that her brother had been shepherded to an upstairs lounge, from where he could escape. “The player who found him, Don Goodman, would later learn that his ex-girlfriend, Jane Sampson, had died in the fire,” Logan writes.

Friday, February 3: Counting down the weeks to the much-delayed next hall of fame dinner at Molineux – an occasion for which those of us on the organising committee had a meeting in a Billy Wright Stand executive box today. Under the chairmanship of John Richards, who also heads up the Wolves Former Players Association, Richard Green, Paul Berry, Steve Gordos, Nick Elwell, the newly-coopted Peter Crump and I went through the plans for the big night, Friday, April 28, making sure the soon-to-be-inducted players (and/or their families) are aware of the arrangements. Exciting!

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