Matt Forman has finally made it to the Mount Hotel in Tettenhall Wood with his Wolves team-mates – the small matter of 28 and a half years late.
The 1980s Molineux midfielder was reunited at the venue with his former colleagues before last night’s Steve Bull 30th anniversary dinner and used the phrase ‘like an outer body experience’ to describe the feeling.
It was at the same establishment in the wake of Wolves’ Sherpa Van Trophy triumph in 1988 that he was due to say his farewells when released on a free transfer.
But he took a different route after the happy Bank Holiday Monday coach trip back from the Wembley victory over Burnley.
“We got off somewhere near the Goalpost pub and the lads were getting geed up for the open-top bus tour round the town,” Forman said.
“Although I knew I was being released, I had been told I was welcome to go on the bus. But, to be honest, I had just had a weekend on the fringe of everything and decided against.
“My car was parked over the road and I jumped in it and drove home. And that was how my time with Wolverhampton Wanderers came to an end after nearly 30 first-team games.”
Forman attended Robert Kelly’s stag weekend in the 1990s but that was pretty much it until, out of the blue, he contacted this website last year.
The subsequent emails and phone calls led to us featuring him at length on our pages in April and to then being asked several weeks ago to provide his contact details when Bully was assembling his cast of friends for last night’s sell-out celebration.
And the Mount Hotel was a poignant choice as the overnight base for the players as it was there that they had disembarked after the 1988 bus tour.
“One or two of the lads mentioned that point,” added Forman. “I didn’t make it then but it has been so good to see so many of them together again this weekend after all this time.
“I know they might have met a lot ever since but I hadn’t seen most of them for 28 years.”
Also present from the Fourth Division and Sherpa Van double-winning squad were Gary Bellamy, Robbie Dennison, Keith Downing, Jackie Gallagher, Micky Holmes, Andy Mutch, Jon Purdie, Alistair Robertson and Andy Thompson, as well as manager Graham Turner.
From a year or two earlier or later came Tom Bennett, Dean Edwards, Paul Blades and Paul Cook, the latter taking advantage of the fact that his Portsmouth side were in League Two action at Cheltenham this afternoon.
Gordon Cowans, Mel Eves and Matt Murray were other former players in attendance, with Robert Plant adding to the lengthy VIP list.
* This being the week marking the 30th anniversary of Bully’s signing from Albion, we will be further featuring the man himself in the coming days.