Bobby Gould rounded off an emotional return to his home city of Coventry by collecting a lifetime achievement award in front of an appreciative audience.
The former striker had two successful spells at Wolves in the 1970s but was back on even more familiar territory to be honoured at the Coventry and North Warwickshire Sports Awards night at the Sky Blues’ Ricoh Arena.
Gould received two standing ovations and made a passionate speech only a few hours on from when he and brother Trevor had performed the solemn task of spreading their mother’s ashes elsewhere in the city.
The award was made in recognition of his commitment and services to sport in the area, with co-host Gary Newbon also welcoming Bobby’s wife Marjorie on to the stage.
“I feel a bit stunned to be honest,” the 71-year-old said. “I have been to past presentations and seen other people get awarded but you never think you’re going to win something like this. It’s a great honour for the Gould family.”
We at Wolves Heroes wrote much about the well-travelled forward when our sister company Thomas Publications were ‘ghosting’ and publishing his autobiography seven years ago.
His affection for Jimmy Hill came across very clearly, so much so that Bobby made a big detour when on a work trip in the south-east to visit the former Coventry manager and Match of the Day presenter in his hour of need a couple of years before he died.
Gould had once been shown the door by his home-city club but was welcomed back and given his League debut by Hill at the age of 17 in a Third Division game at Shrewsbury.
Wolves, later to benefit to the tune of 39 goals in 93 games across his two stints at Molineux, were to suffer in the meantime in 1966-67 as his haul of 25 goals helped Coventry to the Second Division title in a Midlands one-two at the top.
The man commonly known in Sky Blues circles as ‘The Gouldfather’ then hit eight goals in 13 Division One matches the following season to earn a move to Arsenal – the club from whom he was bought by Wolves first time round.
It was earlier this year that Bobby lost his mother, who lived near him in Portishead. She was well into her 90s.