When we launched Wolves Heroes almost ten years ago, we saw it as a way of informing and even entertaining supporters on the subject of what their old Molineux favourites are now up to.
Reminiscences, plenty of them, would inevitably creep in and we looked forward as well to occasionally comparing the deeds of former players with those of the modern breed.
We also dared hope that the characters we wrote about would catch the nostalgia bug and enthusiastically set about reviving old friendships – and plenty of new ones.
Few players have lived up to these aspirations better than Colin Brazier, whose appetite for retracing old pals remains happily undiminished.
In a single conversation on the subject this week, he referred to an old team-mate who is now a clergyman, to playing golf with a Wolves figure who is almost old enough to be his dad, to meeting one Molineux mate for the first time in 35 years and longing for the day he can meet two others and of the spirit and essence of footballers’ reunions.
“Hugh Atkinson is one I reckon I hadn’t seen until the dinner the other week since the day I left Wolves in the early 1980s,” he said.
“And that got me thinking that I hadn’t met John Humphrey or Bob Hazell for the same sort of time. Seeing old photos of them on Facebook keeps them in my mind but it would be great to shake their hand again and chat.
“I know Bob works or worked with young offenders in Erdington and I did see him in that area a while back but he had a group of young people with him and it wasn’t the time to stop and chat.
“What I do notice when team-mates from long ago meet up is that they seem to be able to pick up as if they had been together yesterday. It might only be for one night but it helps that none of the lads have any side on them, so we all go our separate ways, hoping we will see each other again much sooner.”
Brazier, 61, has struck up an unlikely golf friendship with the 76-year-old Terry Wharton – one that might also have commercial spin-offs. “He and his wife Sue have asked if I would have a look at their kitchen and maybe give it a tidy-up,” he added.
And as for the man of the church that Brazier used to play alongside in his football career? Well, that is a Walsall connection rather than a Wolves one….
“I still have friends there because I really enjoyed my time at Fellows Park,” he said. “Before Ron Green and then Steve Cherry took over, I played a few games in front of Mick Kearns, who had often been my room-mate on trips with Wolves.
“And I must have played close to 150 times in the same defence as Peter Hart, who was a very dependable guy to have at your side.
“He became a vicar quite a few years ago and had postings in Cannock and Pelsall before turning up at a church in Armitage, the opposite side of Rugeley to where we are.
“We bumped into one another a few weeks ago in our local Tesco. Don’t write that – it’s no good for the street cred! We had also met at a Walsall dinner last year, so we did at least recognise each other easily.”