Toby Andersen’s healing fingers and palms – among the key ingredients behind the Molineux scenes 50 years ago – have been busy once more; this time shaking the hands of many of the players he was paid to nurse back to fitness.
The early 1970s Wolves physio was the special guest at a late autumn get-together of around a dozen members of the squad he used to know so well.
Decades on from moving on to treatment rooms new, the Norwegian has remained a season ticket holder at the club but was thrilled to be back in more intimate football circles for a few hours, exchanging recollections.
“It was lovely when John Richards invited me along,” he said. “Sadly, I think the last twice I had seen many of the lads was at Derek Dougan’s funeral and then at Dave Wagstaffe’s, so there was a lot to catch up on.
“I felt I hadn’t seen Kenny Hibbitt for ages but we all have our busy lives to lead and hopefully this sort of chance will come round again. They are all getting older – but so am I!
“We did know each other well because, in those days, there was only Bill McGarry, Sammy Chung and me. That was about it. And when we went to Australia and New Zealand in 1972, it was only Sammy and me in charge of them all.
“Although I haven’t been to any Wolves games since lockdown, I still follow the team closely on TV and the radio and hope to be there again soon. I still have my season ticket.”
We visited Toby at his Dudley clinic in 2009 and loved his tales about curing Mike Bailey of a mystery problem, possibly saving Derek Dougan’s life in a Black Country derby and staying loyal to Bill McGarry and co despite approaches from Albion and Brian Clough.
Now retired, he was at Molineux from 1969 to 1974 and then returned for a shorter second spell several years later.
We were delighted to hear how much he (checked shirt, far right) had loved his time back among the lads, who are seen with him in the photo above right.
Also pictured above (from left) are Terry Wharton, Steve Daley, Willie Carr, Phil Parkes, Kenny Hibbitt, John McAlle, John Richards, Colin Brazier (foreground), Phil Nicholls and Gerry Taylor.
Although not present at the time of the photo, Mel Eves was also in attendance at the gathering at The Fox pub, near Shipley, which is run by Wolves fanatic and serial fund-raiser Neil Taylor.
We will be writing more in the coming weeks about the Former Players Association’s stock of David Instone’s Wolves 1970s Scrapbook, which has been donated by the author. The players are seen (left) signing copies at their latest get-together.