You don’t have to have played hundreds of games to acquire deep feelings for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Away from tonight’s higher-profile gathering of well over a dozen Molineux favourites at the Daventry Wolves 40th anniversary dinner, two team-mates from more than half a century ago were having a mini reunion of their own.
Fred Kemp and Ray Aggio were members of the side who narrowly lost over two legs to Newcastle in the FA Youth Cup final of 1962.
They were brought back together in May, 2012, some 50 years on, at the Molineux dinner arranged by Codsall-based John Doughty, a fringe member of a squad captained by Dave Woodfield.
And Ray has since proved himself very good at staying in touch. We were delighted when he made the trip to Vancouver three years ago to meet up again with Les Wilson – now he has made the drive from Hertfordshire to spend some time with the Kemps.
“Their niece Katie runs the Park Hall Hotel in Shifnal with her husband, so I have been staying there for a couple of nights,” Ray told us while enjoying some hospitality at this afternoon’s match.
“It has been great to be back in Wolverhampton and enjoy a round of golf with Fred at Patshull Park as well as meet up with Terry Wharton and make another visit to Molineux.
“It may only have been at the start of my career that I was at the club but I still have such happy memories of my time here and love meeting up with the lads from that era.”
Aggio didn’t progress as far as Wolves’ first team but, as can be seen from the https://www.wolvesheroes.com/2012/02/03/ray-of-hope-was-soon-snuffed-out/ piece Charles Bamforth did with him in 2012, put his football upbringing to good use and had a full career elsewhere.
Italy-born Kemp played three senior games for his first professional club around the time of Stan Cullis’s departure and went on to serve Southampton, Blackpool, Halifax and Hereford.
He has lived for many years in Finchfield, a mile or so from Wolves’ training ground at Compton.
The former wing-half and his wife have become frequent Molineux watchers this season as their son-in-law John Marshall, a former Fulham stalwart who served England in a scouting capacity, is now Wolves’ head of recruitment.