The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Special Curtain Call For Twin Towers Heroes

The front cover for Saturday’s programme.

Just as we thought our full 50-years-on acknowledgement of Wembley ’74 was done and dusted, along came the wonderful reception given by the Molineux masses to more than half of the victorious League Cup line-up.

From Bill McGarry’s heroic winning line-up against Manchester City, Gary Pierce, Geoff Palmer, Derek Parkin, John McAlle, Kenny Hibbitt and Barry Powell were present to receive a memorable ovation from the 30,000-plus crowd at the home victory over Fulham.

With a gold and black scarf each to help insulate them against the cold, the players were joined on the pitch two days ago by their good mate, Phil Parkes, who unluckily missed the final with a broken ankle after playing in all seven of Wolves’ previous games in the triumphant run.

How special such moments are for them all these decades on…..Wolves even succeeded in marking the occasion by winning by the same 2-1 scoreline!

We wrote last week about our attendance at the commemorative VIP stadium tour seven days earlier, when Hibbitt and Palmer were present in question-and-answer roles at Molineux on the precise 50th anniversary, March 2.

This time, they and their team-mates were entertained in a Billy Wright Stand executive box and hosted by sports-writer David Harrison, with Robert Plant requesting a pre-match visit to meet them again, along with fellow vice-president Steve Bull.

And did any of the club’s first League Cup winners stop to remember this weekend that March 9 was also quite a special day for them exactly half a century ago?

That was the afternoon on which McGarry’s men returned in triumph to Molineux and displayed their newly-won silverware before beating the manager’s former club, Ipswich, 3-1.

The difference now is that, far from having only League games to plan for, Gary O’Neil’s 2024 vintage are only five days away from a massive Midlands quarter-final derby at home to Coventry in the FA Cup.

Not only is that the sort of tie the old Wanderers were well used to….it is the exact repeat, and at the same stage, of the one they safely negotiated en route for the 1973 Cup semi-final.

Gary Pierce with the silverware he did so much to help win.

We haven’t yet heard the final whistle blow on the 50th anniversary celebration events. Another is planned in the form of a Wolves Wembley Wonders night at the city’s Grand Theatre on Tuesday, May 14, when Hibbitt, McAlle, Palmer, Parkes, Parkin, Powell, John Richards and Steve Daley will relive the iconic match with Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips.

They will be joined on stage by other members of the 1974 squad, with the occasion supporting Wolves Foundation and the Wolves Former Players Association. Please click on WOLVES WEMBLEY WONDERS | Wolverhampton Grand Theatre for further information.

We are also delighted to publicise Saturday’s evocative match-day programme, which honoured the winning of Wolves’ first major honour in 14 years through a special tribute front and back cover, plus no fewer than 23 highly nostalgic inside pages. It’s a fabulous publication.




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