Squeak’s Sights Switch To Old Trafford

Relief Over Wolves, Now It’s Terriers’ Turn

Derek Parkin as Wolves fans fondly recall him.

Following one happy outcome and one disappointment, Derek Parkin is hoping the thrilling 2010-11 season has a final upturn in store for him.

Wolves’ all-time record appearance maker was too nervous to tune in to TV coverage of Survival Sunday and relied on friends to break the good news to him afterwards.

He was thrilled that Molineux was ultimately awash with celebration – more than adequate compensation for the tinge of sadness he felt at Stoke’s defeat by Manchester City in the FA Cup final earlier in the month.

But there’s one big date still ahead in his football world.

“I was up in Leeds last weekend at my brother-in-law’s and couldn’t bring myself to switch the TV or radio on,” Parkin said.

“I did speak to a friend with about 15 minutes to go and he told me: ‘We’re relegated.’

“Fortunately, though, he was just referring to how the table stood then and there was still time for Wolves to turn it round.

“They obviously did that and I’m delighted. Over the season, they deserve to stay up.

“I look back on them differently to Stoke because I haven’t stayed in touch with any of the lads from when I played there at the end of my career. I don’t think I’ve even seen George Berry since the day I left.

“But I was at Wolves so long and still see most of the players I played with. In fact I was out with John McAlle only yesterday.”

The domestic spotlight now switches to the play-off finals and the 63-year-old former full-back will be hoping his first club Huddersfield can reach the Championship by overcoming Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Parkin moved to Leeds Road straight from school in his native north-east and made his first-team debut as a 16-year-old in a Second Division home defeat against Bury on November 7, 1964.

He became Britain’s costliest full-back when he joined Ronnie Allen’s Wolves for £80,000 on Valentine’s Day in 1968 but had in the meantime tied the knot and chalked up around 70 Huddersfield appearances.

“I married Norma, who was from Morley near Leeds, when I was 18,” he added. “That was on the  Monday (October 10, 1966) after I got back into the team on the Saturday, probably for my second game in the League team.

“We had two days’ honeymoon in Scarborough, then I was straight back in training and back in the side for the following Saturday.

'Squeak,' on the far post, in Huddersfield colours as Coventry's Bobby Gould scores against them in 1967. The keeper is John Oldfield, also later of Wolves. Photo taken from the book 24 Carat Gould.

“I was pretty much an ever-present from then and played more than 60 League games for Huddersfield. I loved it and West Yorkshire was a super place to live.

“I have fond memories of my time up there and have stayed in contact with one of my team-mates, Steve Smith. Like me, he has not long lost his wife.

“I don’t go to games now and I’ve never been a good watcher but I’ll be keeping an eye out for Huddersfield’s result this weekend.”

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