Kicking off Christmas week by continuing our series about our less publicised dealings with Molineux favourites, we open with a regret…..did we really squander the opportunity to meet a goal-scoring forward who has barely been in Wolverhampton for four and a half decades?
Sadly, it’s true, so hopefully another visit to this area will be possible before too long. And we’re not the only ones trying to catch up with old friends.
Fri, Nov 18: Belatedly received a call back from Bobby Woodruff, who surprised me by saying he, his wife and eight friends have seen in the last two or three New Years at Patshull Park, followed by golf the next morning. Unfortunately, they won’t be here this winter but Bobby had news of one of his old mates. “A friend of mine from Cardiff was in Wolverhampton a few months back, jumped into a taxi and realised it was being driven by Terry Wharton,” he said. “Terry gave him his card, we’ve had a good catch-up and now I would love to go back to Molineux for a match or a players’ reunion.”
Mon, Nov 21: Put a call in to the Scottish Highlands to John Black, the late 1970s Wolves winger who is always keen to hear from old Molineux friends. We have received an email out of the blue from a Mark Hamilton, wishing to speaking to him. Mark said he was a team-mate of John’s at Goole Town, Whitby Town and Harrogate Railway.
Mon, Nov 28: Bumped into Fred Kemp in a Codsall coffee shop while he was on his way to a funeral. He asked if we could contact another former Wolves winger, David Thompson, so he could ring him. The two were colleagues at the club in the mid-1960s.
Wed, Nov 30: Had a meeting in Crewe with Alan Gowling, whose unusual career – he was still an amateur when he was in the Manchester United squad who won the 1968 European Cup – should make a fascinating piece for the next issue of Backpass in the New Year. He couldn’t much remember games against Wolves, though he scored the winner at home to them in 1971, but said he didn’t especially warm to Bill McGarry when he was managed by him at Newcastle a few years later.
Sun, Dec 4: Had a quick word in the Molineux press room with Don Goodman after Wolves’ televised victory over Sunderland; two of his former clubs, of course. Michael Gray, who also played for both, has been another recent visitor on media duty.
Tues, Dec 6: Had a brilliant time tonight – listening to Phil Parkes, Derek Parkin and John McAlle exchanging memories and stories with Matt Murray from their respective eras. The four kindly turned out on a bitterly cold evening to join Jim Heath at a signing session for his new book, Wolves In 20/20 Vision.
Fri, Dec 9: Rang Fred Davies after again being asked to act as go-between. A lad called Mike Burton has been in touch with us, saying Fred was his youth-team manager at Birmingham in 1986-87 before taking him to Shrewsbury. “He was a great bloke and I’m keen to find out how he is,” Mike wrote.
Sat, Dec 17: Did some serious catching up with former Wolves stars today. Dropped in at Cannock Library to see Terry Wharton at another signing session, then popped in en route for Wolves v Stoke to say hello to John Richards, Dave Wagstaffe and Steve Daley at London Wolves’ Christmas dinner at the City Bar. John and wife Pam are slightly on edge as the big day approaches…..they are due to become grandparents again on Friday.