When I think about Carl Ikeme in the years to come following the news about his retirement, I’ll be summoning the image of this penalty save in that ethereal League One campaign.
Forget your Sky Sports commericals and your 50 squillion pound transfers, this is football in it’s purest, most intoxicating form.
Hard to believe just five months prior to this video the club had been on it’s knees with it’s relationship to supporters worn down to the nub.
It’s testament to Ikeme and that group of players just how quickly they rebuilt the bridges and in doing so avoided the malaise of lower league stagnation.
We’re Wolverhampton, We’re On Our Way Back has embodied the Nuno revolution, but it would have perfectly encapsulated that solitary year in League One and this precise moment captured behind the goal at the Colchester Community Stadium.
This was it in a microcosm – the turning of the ship, the road to recovery, the way back.
So as Joao Moutinho poses with the shirt and the Premier League kick-off looms on the horizon it’s worth remembering we are where we are now because of what they did then.
Forget about Nuno, forget about Fosun, if we’d rotted away in the third tier, the club would not be where it is today.
For that we thank you Carl.
Even last season, his heroic battle off the pitch inspired and knitted this new look team to the very fabric of the club.
He was the united cause, the 12th man for Wolves and the 24th member of Nigeria’s World Cup squad, a gesture that shows the impact he had in just 10 international appearances for the Super Eagles.
It’s a shame that, as with Matt Murray, only grave misfortune has deprived a hugely talented Wolves goalkeeper of making his mark in the top flight, but we’ll remember Carl Ikeme’s career just as fondly.
With over 200 appearances for Wolves in an 18 year association, his contribution and presence at this club has been huge.
Best of luck for whatever is next Carl. The future is bright.
Post your messages to Carl in the comment section below and I’ll make sure they’re forwarded to him via the club.