Steve Daley has voiced his approval of Kenny Jackett’s Wolves revolution after both replacing him and meeting him in the public spotlight this week.
British football’s one-time costliest player stood in for the head coach on Monday night in addressing a meeting of Wolverhampton Referees’ Association at The Clarendon in Chapel Ash.
And he was then present at the stadium three nights later when Jackett was able to hastily rearrange the engagement with the area’s match-day officials.
“I’ve got to say that he was top drawer,” Daley said, “absolutely brilliant. I had a chat with him as well and was very impressed.
“I remember this time last year being at functions and joking that, if there was memorabilia signed by the present-day players, I hoped there was some Typex as well to erase the autographs.
“Things had got pretty bad but they have had a terrific season in League One and, with Kenny in charge, the outlook is a whole load brighter.”
Daley’s two appearances in the city confirm that he is well and truly back on his feet after receiving a replacement right knee in mid-February.
Life as a highly successful after-dinner speaker slowed towards a halt when he was unable to drive for six weeks, although he did go against doctors’ advice when agreeing to one request to help out a friend – in Carlisle of all places.
“My wife did the driving and we seemed to stop at every service station on the way up there because there’s a danger of dvt (deep-vein thrombosis) if you sit around for too long following surgery like mine.
“I only went because I knew the guy who was putting the do on and because Gordon Banks had had to cancel an appearance there at fairly short notice. I felt self conscious at entering the room on crutches but there were three or four others with them, so I was able to turn it into a joke by asking where the dangerous ski slope was.
“I thought there would be about 100 there being as it was a Sunday night but the audience was 360, so I’m glad I made the effort. I was also on with Roger de Courcey and Nookie Bear at a Northumberland FA do in Newcastle that pulled in 450, so I’m right back in the swing.
“And I’m delighted to be going back to another of my old clubs to speak at the Manchester City Former Players do later this month.”
The 61-year-old talks about his new joint ‘clicking like an old turnstile’ (does he never come up for air in between the one-liners?) and has a follow-up meeting with his surgeon next week.
He has also had a new left hip in the last year and has been told he really needs two more replacement parts.
But he has changed his mind as to the timing of them and is shelving plans to have them done in the foreseeable future.
“My other hip and knee probably need doing but I fancy a bit of a run without more operations to be honest and I’m also at an age where, if I have them done now, they will probably need doing again at the same time when I’m in my 70s.”
During his latest recovery, Daley has made a return visit to speak to media students at Staffordshire University in Stoke and appeared with Don Goodman and Ian Sludge Lees at a function at Darlaston Town Hall.