Mark Davies, illustrious Wolves Blog contributor, celebrated his 60th birthday last week and no, he is not the legend referred to in the title.
So, Scooped from Ludlow turned up, and Clive flew in from Houston, and Andrew, son of Mark, together with wife Nicola, also turned up unexpectedly, and there we all sat, in the hotel cocktail lounge, imbibing of various beverages when one of the hotel staff came in and asked Mark if he minds one more joining us for dinner.
Mark, being the obliging chap he is says “The more the merrier”, and in walks The Legend, Mr. Steven George Bull.
Of course we all knew he was arriving, except Mark, who for once was speechless, even if only momentarily.
After shaking hands with Mark, Bully asked where is John from Ludlow, and Clive who flew all the way from Texas.
He then proceeded to be the life and soul of the evening, telling football anecdotes, answering the usual “did you smack Lineker at Italia 90” and other obligatory questions.
He is extremely passionate and committed to his various charities and talked long and hard about his money making ventures for charity.
We had a wonderful evening, wining and dining, but that was only the appetizer for the following day.
After a nice early breakfast of all things fried and greasy, Mark, John, Bully and I proceeded to the local golf course, where we donned the oversized but striking gold and black shirts lovingly prepared back in Houston, in honor of Mark’s birthday.
If Bully ever challenges you to a game of golf, beware. He is brilliant. A natural athlete, and the hardest hitter of a golf ball I’ve ever seen, and straight down the fairway as well.
We had a riot of a day.
Nothing was off limits, and we spent all day taking the piss out of each other, and laughing until we cried.
At one point, after being told I looked like a girl the way I played golf, I said to Mark and John, “ I never thought I would ever say this, but Bully, f*@# off!!”
Absolutely wonderful sense of humor, and a rapier wit. True Black Country at its best.
I am crap at golf, but all throughout the day, Bully was offering advice and tips to me, trying to help.
I bet other “superstars” would not be anywhere nearly as patient and helpful.
Mr. Bull is a man of many talents, and top of the list is his humility.
Not once did he brag about goals he’d scored or games he’d played in, just answered our questions quietly and calmly, as though scoring a record number of goals for one of the most famous teams in history was no big deal.
A couple of times other golfers came up and asked the significance of the gold shirts, and then…”Are you Steve Bull??’ and every time it was a quiet acknowledgment and back to the golf.
A very, very down to earth guy from the Black Country, with no airs or graces, who is so passionate about The Wolves, and the wonderful conversations throughout the day about the current team and other teams, will of course remain private.
At one point I asked him if he gets fed up with certain questions, and he said that when he is asked if he regrets not playing at the highest level (The Premier League) he answers by saying he did, he played and scored for England, and that is as high as it gets.
The golf finally finished, but Bully was in no rush to get away, we had a coffee in the clubhouse and then drove back to the hotel, where we sat and had sandwiches and more coffee, and Bully seemed genuinely reluctant to leave.
He signed a picture for me with the words “Shit golfer, top man”
I am still walking on the clouds when I think about that day, one of the most memorable of my life. Not only meeting a legend, a footballing hero to thousands, but getting to know him slightly, and to have the piss royally taken out of me, in a wonderful way.
Steve Bull has gone even higher in my estimation, if that is possible. He is one of the best men I have ever had the pleasure and the privilege to meet.
Bully, thank you.
And thank you Mark for turning 60.