Salone wolf

Picture the scene if you can – sat in my local football cinema shack in Freetown, Sierra Leone, I watch Junior Hoilett dance around Jody Craddock and smash the ball past Hennessey. It’s 3-0 at half time and we’re doomed.

The 50 or so Sierra Leoneans sitting around me knew full well I was a Wolves fan. The title race was all over, and thus the hordes of United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool fans were more than happy to watch and listen to me melting into a one man relegation quagmire.

Spot the wolf

We all know what happened next. After initially poking fun, my neighbours were firmly on my side as Hunt scored almost at the same time Pavlyuchenko smashed one past Ben Foster at the Lane. Cue pandemonium and tears of joy for the only Wolf in town.

Living and working in West Africa has its challenges. Amongst other more obvious ones – shortages of water, outages of power, ridiculous humidity – I can’t go to Molineux.

You can watch a whole lot of Wolves games on television, however, as the Premier League is more than happy to pimp out almost every game across the world’s television stations.

This is a treasure trove of opportunity for someone who has never had Sky, and whose main memories of Wolves on live telly are still dominated by Bully dedicating the match ball to his newborn son (“ere yo am Jack”) after smashing a hat-trick at the Baseball Ground.

The aforementioned football cinemas are an amazing enterprise. There are usually three bulky televisions set up at the front, often with a different game on each and one commentary blaring out (Wolves games are often on mute, sadly). Watching a game costs you 1,000 Leones – or 13p – which is well worth it.

My personal highlight has to be watching the United game last year – despite arriving after all the goals had been scored – and managing to stay calm and collected until right at the end when all the Arsenal and Chelsea fans in the place started shouting “we are all Wolf…go Wolf” to goad their United supporting peers. Magic.

Sierra Leone tackling Egypt

When I’m not watching, I’m getting regular text updates from my friends back home. It was almost like I was there during the win over the Albion last year, with over 25 messages back and forth. See here for a transcript: http://tinyurl.com/84afq4h

Aside from my own, I’ve yet to see a Wolves shirt here in Sierra Leone. When running along the main city beach, resplendent in old gold and black, almost every person says “Wolf” but often they might say “Kevin Doyle” just to show off their football knowledge.

As it goes, Sierra Leoneans have football knowledge in abundance. You can often hear football matters discussed on the street at a level you would often struggle to get at Molineux, and with relative stability after the civil war they are an emerging football power – I watched the Leone Stars beat Egypt at the National Stadium in August. Of their players, Celtic signed striker Mohamed ‘Poborsky’ Bangura during the summer and midfielder Rodney Strasser plays for AC Milan.

Despite the name of this blog, it seems that I’m not quite the lone Wolf that I thought I was. A friend of mine forwarded me this recently – http://tinyurl.com/7cbsamq – so I can confirm that there is a Wolves presence in West Africa.

I plan to investigate further…and report back to Wolves Blog.

Thomas: Many, many thanks to David for taking the time to contribute this post. Please do make sure you check out his excellent online journal Salonian Rhythms by clicking here.

I think I speak for both Ben and myself when I say it’s truly humbling to think that so many people spread across the globe take something away from our efforts. We’re always delighted to hear from you!

Comments

  1. Sam 2.0 says:

    Ha what a nice blog. It is truely unbelievable how easy it is to watch wolves abroad. I traveled SE Asia and Australia for a year and probably watched more wolves games on TV than I could watch on sky in maybe 5+ seasons!!

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    • Kowloon Wolf says:

      Agreed, Sam. Every single Wolves PL game is available live. I would like to say that you can have too much of a good thing … but given some of the football we have to endure, that doesn’t seem quite apt!

      Cracking blog, David. I also have to report that I’ve seen the grand total of 2 Wolves shirts sported by Hongkongers in close to 20 years here. (Amazed at the first find, about 10 years ago, I questioned the guy – only to be told that he was a student at Wolverhampton University, and knew nothing about the team, but he thought the top was ‘trendy’. Hmmm).

      Keep up the good work, and be sure to send some scouting reports back to the Mol if you see any excellent young players on that beach!

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      • HongKongWolf says:

        I saw an old local fella at Hung Hom station wearing the old blue away shirt from a while back. I wanted to have my
        picture taken with him but I thought better of stopping the poor bloke and making a scene. I did give him the thumbs up though, which he returned. Still, to this day he probably has no idea why a random Caucasian guy was so excited to see him

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  2. KWolf says:

    Brilliant stuff.
    Does beg the question though, what the bloody hell are you doing in Sierra Leone?

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  3. Hamsterlet says:

    Nice to see Wolves fans spread all across the world! :)

    Wonder what it’s like living in Sierra Leone?

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  4. Simon says:

    A very enjoyable read David, your experiences are very similar to mine in that I’ve been working in the aid sector for the last 8 years or so, in many countries. Its been written on here many times about how for us Wolves fans the highs are high and the lows are low and I think when you’re the only gold shirt in a bar in some far away place surrounded by locals supporting the other team, it seems to make those disparities only more pronounced. A few spring to mind – watching the Arse scoring a last minute winner at the Emirates in Kenya and that great perfomance against the Hammers in Ethiopia.

    I’ve been reading the Blog since it started and I’d just like to pass on my thanks to Thomas and Ben, I do look at the site on a daily basis (internet allowing) waiting for new posts and comments, it is something I can no longer do without.

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    • Clive from Houston says:

      Addicted to a blog, you are one sad bastard……………just like the rest of us and long may it prosper!!
      Talking of sad bastards, look who has posted more times than anyone else….me!
      Note to self, “Need to get out more and get a life”
      On a serious note, you guys out there doing charity work in dangerous places are the real heroes of this world, together with the armed services, police and firefighters.
      I wonder how many of those so called football heroes would put themselves in your shoes….people like Tevez spring to mind, amid hundreds more.
      Keep up the good work guys, what you are doing puts Morgan, Moxey and McCarthy’s antics into proper perspective, i.e. irrelevant, in the grand scheme of things.

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  5. johnok says:

    Nice one David,great to see you are wearing the shirt with pride.
    Keep up the good work,Great respect mate.
    Up the wolves.

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  6. These are the days says:

    Love it. Nice one David.

    Especially being called Wolves Hampton. I think it could stick.

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  7. robin says:

    I’ve followed Wolves since 1961 throughout the world, including part of my colonial childhood in Nigeria.
    I remember thinking at the age of 10, as I watched the locals playing bare footed, on bottle smashed dirt, that they were potentially much better than we English were -
    I was right….
    However the hardest time to follow Wolves or any football for me, was when I lived in USA 1980-3.
    Perhaps Clive can confirm it, but there was a tiny results section in the Sports part of the NYT & L.A. Chronicle, nothing else.
    We were not doing well then.
    As for Goa or Ibiza in the 80′s, even fellow Brits looked at you as a ‘nutter’ for wanting to know how Wolves were doing!
    Great blog…..

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  8. Mutch ade about nothing says:

    Superb blog.we are everywhere around the world .wear your colours with pride.can’t wait for Tuesday anything can happen

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  9. Great blog and great to see positive comments from and Wolves fans. Have stopped reading other comments as have grown weary of the negativity amongst some of our fans. Keep up the good work in Sierra Leone.

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    • Agree, great blog David. One of the best ever! It shows what a huge club we really are, with a fan base covering all four corners of the world.
      While the ’3 Ms’ might be ‘managing expectations’ and downsizing aspiration accordingly, it’s great to read something like this.
      Some fans actually take umbrage and cringe at others saying what a big club we are, but we are!
      They tend to be the same fans that swallow the hyperpole spouted by Morgan and Moxey and hurl abuse at those who don’t.
      They’ll also be grateful for a player like Mark Fotheringham, if he ever decides to put pen to paper.

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