Dear Diary Entry 139

Happy Day For Long-Haul Visitors

Saturday, April 8: Had a busy time of it making new acquaintances at this afternoon’s welcome home victory against Chelsea. Having played a small part in securing tickets for some visitors from afar, it was lovely to meet Glenn Gibbons, the son of early 1950s Wolves defender Len Gibbons, and members of his circle of family and friends. Glenn lives in Singapore and his daughter and her partner in Melbourne, so it was nice they had three points to celebrate towards the end of their latest return to England.

Monday, April 10: Caught up with Don Goodman’s interesting weekend working for Sky Sports after bumping into him at the supermarket near home. He had a very late return home due to covering Burnley’s promotion-sealing Friday-night win at Middlesbrough.

Saturday, April 15: Had the pleasure of Bob Hatton’s company at this afternoon’s Molineux success over Brentford after fulfilling a promise made to him earlier in the season. The mid-1960s Wolves forward hadn’t been back to his first professional club since the late 1990s when he recalled seeing Robbie Keane and others in his role as a financial adviser working for the PFA. How lovely it was to share in his pleasure at returning, especially as it was marked with a good result in the continued climb from a position of danger in the Premier League.

Tuesday, April 18: Good to catch up with Rob Kelly in the tunnel area of Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium tonight. He remains, for the time being at least, on the senior coaching staff at Wigan, who kept alive their slim chances of avoiding relegation from the Championship with a 1-0 victory. Among those covering the game in the media area was former Wolves midfielder Paul Jones.

Sunday, April 23: Another match-day meeting with ex-Wolves personnel. It must be ten years since I had crossed paths with Mark Venus but he was upbeat and talkative following Sunderland’s visit to Albion today. His partnership with Tony Mowbray has certainly stood the test of time since they became team-mates and good friends at Ipswich, where he was sent by Mark McGhee in 1997 in an exchange deal with Steve Sedgley.

Johnny Phillips…..a Friday-night stint at Molineux and then a long and unhappy trip to the south coast.

Tuesday, April 25: How’s this for a surreal experience? Had an afternoon coffee in Wolverhampton city centre with a couple from Denmark and was told in the strictest confidence by a mutual friend that he was going to use his participation in the half-time shoot-out at the Wolves v Crystal Palace game to go down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage. Not only did he do so but live TV picked the proposal up, plus her shock and acceptance, and, soon, it was in the papers back in Scandinavia. Congratulations, John and Merete! They even met John Richards in the worldwide lounge before kick-off.

Friday, April 28: A great night was had by all at the long-awaited hall of fame dinner this evening. So nice to see so many former players in attendance to honour the chosen men, some of them past inductees themselves. The feedback from the paying guests could hardly have been more pleasing, either.

Sunday, April 30: Quite relieved, with the benefit of hindsight, that I had been unable to accept Johnny Phillips’s kind offer – made just before the hall of fame dinner – of a lift to yesterday’s game at Brighton, where he was on reporting duty. Well, there were six reasons why it might not have been such a fun day out.

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