Dear Diary Entry 150

Exciting Plans In Place

John Barnwell and George Berry amid the joy of Wembley victory in 1980.

Tuesday, March 5: Can’t say too much for now but have been involved in trying to set up a small tribute event for John Barnwell in the East Midlands. Almost four and a half decades on, it would bear a League Cup final theme – naturally – and take in a player or two from both camps. Hope it comes off!

Saturday, March 9: This afternoon’s home game with Fulham wasn’t only about the boys of ’74 as far as former Wolves players were concerned. In the media area, as so often, were Mel Eves, Andy Thompson and  Lee Naylor – all of them no doubt impressed with the will-to-win demonstrated by Gary O’Neil’s side in the face of considerable adversity.

Wednesday, March 13: Sad to hear that former Wolves coach Gerry Summers has died at the age of 90. The Golden Summers! – Wolves Heroes interview we conducted with him around a decade ago is a good reminder of his varied life in football, including service to several Midlands clubs. It also tells how his friendship with Ronnie Allen brought him to Molineux and led to introductions with several A list celebrities. 

Thursday, March 14: What an astonishing turnaround in Europe tonight and not one that Robbie Keane and Mike Stowell will have enjoyed one bit. Their club, Maccabi Tel Aviv, led Olympiacos 4-1 after the away first leg of their Conference League round-of-16 tie but were sensationally defeated 6-1 in the return. Daniel Podence scored the opening goal, leaving their victims happy that they have a lead of several points at the summit of Israel’s top flight with around a dozen games to go.

Saturday, March 16: Had the pleasure of the company of Leon Clarke, Lee Naylor, Mel Eves and Andy Thompson in the media area at Wolves’ FA Cup clash with Coventry today. Then, amid the heartbreak of last-gasp defeat, bumped outside the ground into Kenny Hibbitt and Willie Carr – two midfielders who served both clubs. TV footage appeared to show that Jonathan Hayward was there also.

Friday, March 22: Delighted to hear that a sizeable delegation of Wolves players headed north by minibus for Paul Bradshaw’s funeral in Altrincham today. His own reclusive ways meant there hadn’t been a lot of contact with him over the years but this was a fitting send-off from those who valued him so highly as a team-mate at Molineux and Castlecroft.

Mark Venus photographed by Wolves Heroes during a meet-up at Sunderland’s overnight hotel in Cheshire in the autumn.

Saturday, March 30: Interesting to follow Mike Williamson’s early months in management at Milton Keynes Dons following his switch from Gateshead in the autumn. The 40-year-old former Wolves central defender took the north-east club to last season’s FA Trophy final and had them sixth in the National League when taking on his first Football League position nearly six months ago. He now has the Dons firmly in the race for promotion from League Two, overseeing a 5-0 home win over Walsall today after the defeat by the same score at Stockport last weekend.

Monday, April 1: Sad to see Mark Venus stepping away from duties at Birmingham amid the club’s slide towards the Championship relegation places. The long-time Molineux man was given the task of holding the fort while his boss, Tony Mowbray, underwent treatment for an unspecified medical condition but a damaging run of five defeats out of six has prompted a rethink that sees Gary Rowett returning to St Andrew’s as interim manager. Hopefully the Mowbray-Venus partnership is firmly back in place before pre-season starts in three months or so. 




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