Friends Reunited

Pals Get Together For Precious Catch-Up

Gerry Taylor and Bob Hatton, the two former Hull schoolboys who signed for Wolves on the same day in the mid-1960s, have had a long overdue reunion.

They hadn’t met since the 1970s – at least they don’t think they had – but have caught up on the missing decades in the company of their respective wives.

Wolves Heroes were the catalysts for the get-together at the Hattons’ house south of Solihull (picture right), the striker having been our guest in the press box at the Premier League victory over Brentford at Molineux in mid-April.

“Gerry has a memory of us having bumped into each other long after our careers took different paths but I don’t,” Bob said.

“I don’t think we had met since playing against each other, probably in a Wolves-Birmingham game in the 1970s. So there was a lot to talk about!

“A good part of the conversation was about our formative years as we went to the same school as each other in Hull. We also grew up together in the football sense and played alongside one another up there from 12 to 15.

“We played in the same school team, for the city boys’ team and then for sides in open-age leagues – me for Ainthorpe Old Boys while working in a bakery and Gerry at another club after he started as an apprentice marine engineer on the docks.

“Then we became part of the Wath Wanderers set-up and were picked up together by Wolves from there.”

After signing at Molineux, the two remained close by being housed in the same digs as each other and Peter Knowles in the Newhampton Road area of town, not far from the ground.

Having also had Dave Clements as a digs mate, they were relocated close to Bantock Park and Hatton added: “We used to enjoy the pitch-and-putt there and playing tennis in West Park.

“The main place we went to in town was the Milano coffee shop in the afternoons, or Lyons tea room on a Friday.

“I also have Gerry to thank for introducing me to the girl who became my wife. He and his girlfriend Sylvia were going to a night at the Civic Hall with someone who dropped out, so I was invited along and was delighted to be picked up, with Christine doing the driving.

“Gerry was in a suit and tie and I quickly realised I was letting the team down by not being dressed smartly enough, so I dashed back inside and made myself more respectable.

“I remember coming back to Wolves as a Bolton player near the end of a season and visiting them at the house they had overlooking Penn Common. It’s nice that we are all still together and have had this chance to reminisce.”

Taylor was able to update his fellow Humbersider on the goings-on at the recent hall of fame dinner he attended at Molineux but thought there might have been another chance meeting in the intervening years.

“I seem to remember bumping into Bob in Beverley on a trip back up that way,” he said. “But I may be wrong.

“We’ve spoken on the phone but it was lovely to meet them both again now and have a proper conversation after all this time.”

Bob is pictured left with Mel Eves on his recent return visit to Molineux.

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