Dear Diary Entry 146

Another Good Man Lost

Friday, November 3: Sad to hear that Carlo Federico, a veteran former member of the club’s youth development staff, has died. ‘Chico’, as he was better known, was first recruited as a coach by Paul Darby in the days when Graham Turner was manager and the young Wolves hopefuls trained at East Park. A one-time Wolves and Shrewsbury trialist who went on to play for many years for Shifnal Town close to his roots, he later served as the club’s schoolboy liaison officer and was a highly popular individual.

Wednesday, November 8: Surprised to read of the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo by Saudi big-hitters Al-Ittihad. Disappointed also to see him referred to on the headline to the BBC website story as a ‘former Spurs boss’. He was in North London for only four months after all, compared with the highly successful four years he had at Molineux. It’s only a few months since Nuno led Al-Ittihad to the title and this season’s record of six wins from 12 league games makes it sound like expectations at the club are extremely high. The 49-year-old’s last match in charge was an Asian Champions League defeat against Iraq side Air Force Club.  

Saturday, November 11: Good to see Keith Downing among a sizeable representation of former Wolves players at this afternoon’s memorable victory over Tottenham. He was on q&a duty in the museum and corporate areas following his recent departure from Birmingham, where his indirect replacement in Wayne Rooney’s backroom team is another ex-Molineux midfielder, Carl Robinson. Downing was also one of those to express sorrow at the passing-away of Chico, with whom he worked at Compton.

Sunday, November 12: On the day Raul Jimenez scored in the Premier League for the first time in 20 months, his long-time former Wolves team-mate, Diogo Jota, took himself to the brink of completing his half century of goals with Liverpool. He has netted ten times in 2023-24 after notching against Brentford today, including four in the last six games, and his club tally of 49 is all the more impressive with well over a third of his appearances since moving to Anfield having come from the substitutes’ bench.

Tuesday, November 14: Enjoyed fulfilling a guest appearance and speaking to members of the Wolves Trust tonight at their regular get-together at the Emerald Club close to the city centre. This group is a sort of evolution of the Wolves Fans’ Parliament, whose meetings I attended in a minute-taking capacity for a decade and a half. Good to see two or three members there who have been common to both organisations. 

Sunday, November 26: Definite visions and echoes of Frank Munro and Mark McGhee as John Lalley and I attended Aberdeen’s big home league game against Rangers this lunchtime. It was impossible to be at Pittodrie and not think back to the considerable impact those two had there, McGhee especially. His face appears in the stadium on several of the photos reflecting The Dons’ glory years under Sir Alex Ferguson some 40 years ago, the manager himself having pride of place in the form of a statue outside the main entrance. A word here, too, for Scott Brown, the Wolverhampton-born former Wolves academy hopeful who played around 40 first-team games while in North East Scotland and is now on the coaching staff at managerless Rotherham.

Monday, November 27: How’s this for a coincidence? While still in Edinburgh and en route for home, a post popped up on Facebook saying it was six years today that Jim McCalliog had posted on social media about he, Denis Law, Bobby Lennox, Craig Brown, Willie Miller and others spent time together in Aberdeen to celebrate the granting of the freedom of the city to the Manchester United and Scotland forward.

Thursday, November 30: Heard back from another distant relative of Terry Springthorpe after our posting of a long story about Wolves’ 1949 FA Cup-winning left-back at the weekend. Wolverhampton-based Molineux regular Nigel Springthorpe never met the late defender but, like many others in this large family, is so proud of his achievements that he enquired about some boots of the players that went up for sale some years back.

Monday, December 4: Shocked and upset to hear through Telford-based photographers Terry Lake and David Bagnall that Martin Patching has passed away at the asge of 65. Rang John Richards to share the same news and plan a full tribute to Martin over the next day or two.

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