Five years ago – virtually to the day – I was scurrying along Waterloo Road, desperate not to miss a pre-match tribute to Peter Broadbent in the Football League Trophy.
The smattering of applause in a ghostly stadium for an all-time great made me cry, more for the painful inadequacy of the send-off than the fact the legend had gone. Jake Cassidy, George Elokobi and Bjorn Sigurdarson clapping about a player they’d have never touched back in the day, when floodlights shone for 50,000 against Budapest Honved rather than 7,000 versus Notts County.
‘Damn you Wolves,’ I quivered, as a lone bugler pierced a deathly night – in my mind at least – before the blackening Wolves appalled.
I remember little of the game itself, other than the fact I had to be there. In fact, in over 30 years of supporting Wolves I would seldom miss a match like this. It’s 100% my fare. My meat and drink.
So work this one out then…
…For the first time in 31 years of ravenously devouring such tripe, I completely forgot we had a home match last Tuesday night. Blissfully driving home from Leamington Spa, listening the football phone-in on WM and I nearly crashed my car when Paul Franks went around the grounds for team news, starting at Molineux?! Come again Franksy? You what? Not a clue.
I felt like a fraud. Like one of those fans I’d scale a Sherpa Van to swerve.
Without going all Freudian on my shocking oversight, I have concluded that I am possibly the definition of a ‘glory-dodger’, subliminally circumnavigating the good times after enduring so much dross to finally see them. It probably sums me up well enough; my mind often consumed by the bad times when the good ones are staring me in the mush.
Am I alone here? A wet and wild night at Oakwell as relegation beckons? Count me in! A light show and pyrotechnics at the Golden Palace to greet Nuno’s Premier League heroes? I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.
So many forgettable, inconsequential games have played out to a Last Post soundtrack in my mind for so long that I’m not sure what to do now. So disorientated am I that I don’t even know when we’re playing in the first place.
Where once the blogs would runneth over, the pen now runs dry. In my own mind’s eye, I was Wolves Blog’s self-appointed statesman and investigator rolled into one. Like a mingled Roger Cook and Erin Brockovich, I was the eyes and ears of the brethren once, holding the hierarchy to account when our great club was being corrupted.
The rage that burnt when a legend’s memory was smeared with a tin of Johnstone’s Paint would have prompted me to wage war, yet when the good times finally roll I don’t know where I left my notepad – if I even knew they were happening.
What this makes me I’m not quite sure. A masochist? Most definitely. A pessimist? Maybe.
Like a once-stricken animal being released back into the wild, I’m just relieved that we’re back in our natural habitat, galloping free from pain and constraint.
The cameras have it captured and the world is now watching…
…The fact I didn’t felt utterly ludicrous, but if everyone is happy then that’s good enough for me.