Dear Diary Entry 153

Another Door Opens

‘Let me tell you about Billy Wright and Joy’.

Wednesday, May 29: Mark Kennedy is back in football after his spell at Lincoln ended in the sack last October. He has been appointed as manager by League Two club Swindon on a two-year contract, with former Telford and Kidderminster full-back Marcus Bignot expected to become his assistant some time next month. 

Wednesday, June 5: This is more Olympic-based than related to the European Championships but I had the pleasure of bumping into 1960 Rome swimming gold medalist Anita Lonsbrough on a visit to Wolverhampton city centre today. The 82-year-old wife of cycling legend Hugh Porter was meeting Barry Stobart’s widow, Maureen, for coffee, so it was great to see them both again at the start of this huge sporting summer.

Friday, June 7: Nice to hear that Tony Daley – a member of Graham Taylor’s England squad at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden – has been back in Wolverhampton tonight. He was apparently received well by members when they appeared at the annual meeting of the Wolves Trust, who have obviously been busy on the matter of discussion and feedback over season ticket prices for 2024-25.

Sunday, June 9: Have enjoyed sharing a story about Billy Wright and Joy Beverley, both of whom would have turned 100 this year, as relayed by Nick Owen at the brilliant ‘Behind the Mic’ stage show put on by the BBC Midlands presenter, Radio 5 Live’s Pat Murphy and ITV veteran Jim Rosental at Redditch Theatre a few nights ago. Was pleased to be in the audience to hear any number of terrific anecdotes after having to pull out of attending their night in Worcester in March. Nick revealed how a schoolboy had once turned up at the Wrights’ house, asking if he could speak to Joy as part of a school project. Billy had to break the news she was working away but asked if he could help in the meantime. To which the lad responded: “It’s ok, thanks….I have to speak to someone famous.”

Saturday, June 15: Woke to the appalling news of the death at only 26 of former Wolves back-up keeper Majita Sarkic. The truly shocking announcement came only a few days after the Montenegro international had been named man of the match at the pre-Euros friendly against Belgium. Sarkic was born in Grimsby and served Villa, Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Stoke as well as signing at Molineux in 2020 in a three-year deal that brought him three first-team appearances here – against Preston, Leeds and Liverpool in the cups in 2022-23. Our deepest condolences to his heartbroken family.

Tuesday, June 18: Amid the excitement of the early days of the Euros, out come the Premier League fixtures for next season. It seems strange switching our focus from international football back to the club game in the middle of the close season but it’s also a good way of whetting the appetite for what lies ahead. Arsenal away on day one has some historical significance…..Wolves won 3-1 there on the opening afternoon of Stan Cullis’s last full season at Molineux and the result was the same when Bill McGarry took his players to Highbury in August, 1973 to resolve the third and fourth places from the previous season’s FA Cup. As for first-day meetings of the clubs at Molineux, how momentous was August 31, 1946? That was kick-off day in the first season of League football after the war and, with a host of new players, Wolves won 6-1. 

Dioga Jota in the colours he wore to such brilliant effect.

Friday, June 21: Good to see Wolves’ promotion winners of 2008-09 back together at Molineux tonight and celebrating their memorable deeds 15 years on. Mick McCarthy and his faithful assistant, Terry Connor, were thankful at being able to join promotion winners such as Matt Jarvis, Michael Kightly, Matt Hill, George Elokobi, Dave Edwards, Stephen Ward, Jody Craddock, Michael Mancienne, Neill Collins, Sam Vokes, Carl Ikeme, Kevin Foley and Karl Henry in the main hospitality room in the Billy Wright Stand. Bet they chewed over wonderful memories!

Wednesday, June 26: Another day, another game and another reminder of the huge number of past, present and possibly future Wolves players in the Portuguese squad in Germany. Defeat against Georgia tonight in their academic final group game came with Pedro Neto in the starting line-up, Nelson Semedo, Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes introduced from the bench and Jose Sa, Vitinha and Rui Patricio among the unused substitutes.  




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