Dear Diary Entry 148

Venus Orbiting Once More

Mark Venus (right) in training with Wolves in the late 1980s alongside Andy Mutch and Floyd Streete.

Thursday, January 4: Mark Venus could be poised for a return to West Midlands football following the sacking of Wayne Rooney at Birmingham. The early money as the former England man’s replacement at St Andrew’s appears to be on Tony Mowbray, who always has the ex-Wolves utility man at his side. Carl Robinson, who just crossed over with Venus as a first-team Wolves player in the second half of the 1990s, has lost his position as well after being appointed as part of Rooney’s backroom team.

Saturday, January 6: A top gesture of Mick McCarthy’s to go and show his support for George Elokobi at this afternoon’s FA Cup tie between Maidstone and Stevenage. Handy, of course, that the ex-Molineux boss lives in Kent but he must have been delighted that his powerhouse former left-back turned the third-round clash into the best day of his fledgling career so far in the dug-out.

Tuesday, January 16: We could have done without extra-time and all the long stoppages that come with it on such a bitterly cold night but Wolves finally got the job done in their replay against Brentford this evening. This feels like a season for the club to have a good go in the Cup without suffocating pressures in the Premier League and the either-or pairing with Albion in round four added more spice to the occasion.

Friday, January 19: Chuffed to be told an article I have been asked to write for the Wolves programme will appear in the one for the Manchester United game on the first of next month. It’s the regular feature in which the contributor is asked to write a paragraph about his or her three favourite Wolves matches of all time – and the worst.

Monday, January 22: Was delighted to hear that Glasgow-based Gwilym Machin, a super friend and help to this website, had made it to the Brighton v Wolves game tonight. Severe weather delayed his flight to Gatwick from breakfast time until 4pm but that still gave him just enough time to take his seat in the ground before kick-off. He wasn’t the only one going through the stress of waiting and wondering….the parents of Brighton’s Ayrshire-born midfielder Billy Gilmour were on the same plane and then the same train.

Friday, January 26: Had coffee in Wolverhampton city centre this afternoon with Richard Skirrow and John Lalley and was delighted to hear from the former Wolves secretary that Molineux director John Gough and his Gough Group company had stepped forward as main sponsor of the JW Hunt Cup, the 93-year-old local football competition that has raised huge sums for charity. The deal was celebrated at a function attended by Richard at the Beacon Centre in Sedgley earlier today. 

Monday, January 29: Good to note Steven Fletcher is still among the goals a few weeks short of his 37th birthday. Approaching 12 years on from his £12m Wolves departure to Sunderland, the Scot has scored six times this season for Wrexham, including a hat-trick earlier this month against Barrow in League Two. He has about 180 goals in his professional career all told, including 24 while at Molineux.

Billy Rafferty and his good friend John Richards lead the charge at The Bridge. The duo scored when Wolves won at the venue in March, 1979.

Thursday, February 1: Interesting to see Paul Butler at Wolves’ home game against the ‘other’ Manchester club tonight. The promotion-winning captain from the Dave Jones era has never hidden his love for City, the club against whom he was sent off at Molineux at Easter, 2002. But he reminded us while reporting for corporate duty alongside Paul Berry this evening that he works these days on the recruitment side at Salford, the League Two club overseen by some Manchester United greats. 

Sunday, February 4: Wow, what a victory that was and what a day for Matheus Cunha! It was a case of the last bastion conquered for Wolves, who seem to have performed brilliantly after a tough turnaround of only two and a half days since their United heartbreak. The club had previously won in the Premier League at Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United but their last success at Stamford Bridge was way back in 1979. Let’s not forget that it’s also a mid-season double over the Londoners after the Christmas Eve triumph at Molineux.




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