Remembering Roger

Full House Pays Tribute To Late Director

Roger Hipkiss

Former Wolves director Roger Hipkiss has been honoured with a packed attendance at a service of celebration and thanksgiving following his death at the age of 78.

Various Molineux personnel from the businessman’s time on the club’s board from 1982-86 were present to pay their respects at St Chad’s Church, Pattingham.

Hipkiss, from Cross Lane Head, near Bridgnorth, passed away peacefully in hospital in Wolverhampton on December 29 following a short illness.

Among Friday’s gathering were another of the board members from that era, Doug Hope, the two men having attended the funeral of Sammy Chapman last summer.

Also there were two backroom men, assistant manager Jim Barron and physio Dennis Conyerd and the Express & Star’s Wolves correspondent of the time, David Harrison.

Hipkiss was an arch opponent of the crumbling Harry Marshall era in the early 1980s and was given his chance of shaping a brighter future when part of the board assembled after the rescue act led by his good friend, Derek Dougan.

The new broom that swept through Molineux brought immediate success in the form of an unexpected promotion back to the top flight but, with the Bhattis strictly limiting funds for squad strengthening, the revival was proved to be built on sand.

“Roger was a very personable guy who would ring me day and night on occasions to talk Wolves,” Harrison said.

“He had tried and failed to remove Harry Marshall earlier and we had the brief Doug Ellis/Malcolm Finlayson regime after Harry did ultimately go.

“It was remarkable that things went as well as they did after the famous rescue just before the deadline in July, 1982. As the season started, no-one saw the promotion coming really.

“I keep saying that if the 1982-86 board had been granted planning permission to build the Asda store, as the Gallaghers were a few years later, the story might have been completely different and our perceptions changed.

“But I liked Roger and feel there has been a tendency to airbrush from history the good work he, Dougie Hope and the Doog did. He clearly had a full business life away from football but I am glad a few of us who knew him at Wolves were able to pay our respects and chat over our happy memories of him.”

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