Frank Munro, one of the popular cornerstones of Wolves’ team for all but ten years, has died at the age of 63.
Acute breathing problems led to the inside forward turned central defender being rushed yesterday to New Cross Hospital, where he passed away at 8.40 tonight.
The sad news spread quickly among his former colleagues this evening, in particular via Dave Wagstaffe, Phil Parkes, Steve Daley and John Richards, who stayed especially close to the former Scottish international.
Wagstaffe and Parkes were visiting him this evening before Richards had the call he was dreading from Frank’s partner Naomi.
“I heard yesterday that he had been taken very ill and his heart had apparently stopped in the ambulance,” said the co-owner of Wolves Heroes.
“We were told then that there wasn’t much hope of him pulling through, so we can hardly say this announcement is unexpected.
“But I had visited him last Wednesday and thought he looked better than he had for several months. He had had a shave and a haircut and was enjoying a fish and chip supper, as he did every Wednesday.
“His health problems over many years are well known, of course, and he has had a lot to endure.
“We had all resigned ourselves to hearing this news sooner or later but it is still very upsetting to know we have lost a good friend and a player supporters of a certain age will remember with a lot of affection.”
John McAlle, a regular central defensive partner of Munro’s over seven seasons, said of the announcement: “It’s very hard to accept. A lot of people will be very shocked and saddened by this news.”
Munro’s health has been poor since he suffered a major stroke well over a decade ago and he had been living for the last couple of years in a home in Wednesfield.
As a player, he was often an imperious figure. He was a League Cup winner with Bill McGarry’s Wolves in 1973-74 and played 372 games in all for the club, scoring 19 goals. He stands 20th in the all-time Molineux record appearance-makers list.
He was born in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, on October 25, 1947, and was signed by Ronnie Allen from Aberdeen for only £55,000 in January, 1968, having impressed by hitting a hat-trick against Wolves in the famous final of the United States Association Championship in 1967.
He previously played for Dundee United and had an unhappy post-Molineux spell at Celtic before plying his trade in Australia for several years, notably in Melbourne with the ex-pats’ club Hellas.
Munro, who followed his under-23 recognition by winning nine full Scottish caps, also played in both legs of the 1972 UEFA Cup final against Tottenham and in semi-final exits in both the League Cup and FA Cup.
His most famous goal was the one that helped defeat Leeds in May, 1972, and so denied Don Revie’s the double. But he also netted home and away against Ferencvaros in the UEFA Cup semi-final the same season.
He had a brief pre-Wolves stay at Chelsea as a youngster without playing in the first team.
* We plan a fuller tribute to Frank on Wolves Heroes in the coming hours.