Telling Clips From The Archives

Managers In The Spotlight

Richie Barker – a few months on from the cameras rolling.

Following our pre-Christmas piece on Geoff Palmer’s 1986 televised interview about joining the police force, other Wolves TV features from the past have been brought to our attention.

We are indebted to keen supporter Giuseppe Campione for directing us to several items on screen from the John Barnwell and Ian Greaves eras and are happy to share them here with our other readers.

Barnwell doesn’t feature in them, having suffered his serious car crash, and a t-shirted Richie Barker stood in for him when Gary Newbon and the Central cameras headed for Molineux in the summer of 1979.

A few weeks before the arrival of Andy Gray and the start of a season which would end in League Cup glory and a sixth-place top-flight finish, the state of the stadium and pitch was the main topic of conversation with the manager’s right-hand man.

He was asked about the club’s opening-day game at home to Liverpool being off because of the building of the John Ireland Stand and pointed out that a home fixture could have gone ahead that day had it been against a club ‘like Middlesbrough, Ipswich or Norwich.’

But Barker reckoned that Liverpool might take 10,000 to Molineux and accepted that the police couldn’t be sure about keeping the rival supporters apart.

He also told viewers of the club’s plan to move the pitch 44 yards over towards the new structure, with a new stand to be built on the section of turf where he and Newbon were stood.

We now know that the wait for a replacement Waterloo Road Stand dragged on for 14 long years, the early part of which was marked by a short stint under Greaves’s management.

Bob Hall was the interviewer this time, again on the pitch near the mouth of the tunnel, and Wolves’ well-documented financial problems were the main item of discussion.

“I knew what the problems were when I came in,” the manager said. “One of the things I knew I had to do is get money in. We’re not in a very stable position financially.”

Hall wasn’t slow to highlight Andy Gray as the most saleable asset Greaves had, with the March, 1982 transfer deadline only a week away.

Ian Greaves – stood square behind Andy Gray.

With a game at Coventry as his immediate priority, Greaves turned the tables somewhat by not only refusing to put a price on the striker’s head but also speaking of Scotland manager Jock Stein’s visit to the West Midlands a few nights earlier and his of hope that Gray may yet force his way into his country’s squad for the World Cup finals in Spain.

The link to this two-minute clip is https://www.macearchive.org/films/central-news-19031982-sport-football-wolverhampton while you should click on or copy and paste https://www.macearchive.org/films/atv-today-13071979-wolverhampton-wanderers to see the film of Barker’s interview.

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