No sooner, it seems, had Jim McCalliog reappeared in the lives of Wolves fans than he slipped out of sight again.
The popular inside-forward was welcomed on to the pitch by visiting fans at the home of his local club Kilmarnock when Mick McCarthy’s side were on tour in Scotland two and a bit years ago.
He had also returned to Molineux the summer before to attend the funeral of his long-time team-mate Derek Dougan.
Then, though, with a lifestyle change and a house move, he was out of reach again – until now.
“I started having a lot of calls on my mobile from people I didn’t know, so I got rid of my phone,” he told Wolves Heroes after we had tracked him down again today.
“Then I decided to retire and sold the pub I had run in Fenwick, just down the road from Kilmarnock.
“I also got married a year ago last May to Debbie, who is from Glasgow like me.
“I’m still living in the same area but I’m out of the pub trade. I’ve done 25 years or so and it’s time for a rest from worrying about whether the beer supplies were going to arrive.
“As well as the King’s Arms on the main street up here, I’ve had places in Wetherby and Harrogate and run the Rose and Crown in Stone, Staffordshire, so I’ve done my stint.
“I’ve only had two jobs with that and football – I just wish I could have played longer.”
McCalliog was delighted to make acquaintances across the bar when Wolves fans frequented his premises in July, 2008, having also given a talk to members of Yorkshire Wolves while he was in their midst a few years ago.
Now, though, it’s mainly through TV coverage that he follows the fortunes of a club for whom he played 210 first-team games from 1969 to 1974 and scored 48 goals.
And he will be a particularly interested observer from afar in nine days’ time when McCarthy’s side travel to do battle with his first professional club, Chelsea.
“I have just done an interview for the match programme for that day and have very fond memories of both places,” he added.
“I played in an FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea and was still in my teens the following year when I scored one of the goals against them in the semi-final that took Sheffield Wednesday to Wembley.
“I often seemed to do the ‘dirty’ on Chelsea like that. I scored a couple of times at Stamford Bridge for Wolves, one of them when John Richards was out and I played up front with Derek Dougan.
“Mind you, we were always likely to score goals. We had a very good side at Molineux and I don’t think we were given the credit we deserved.”