Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #7 – Melksham, Wiltshire

First of all, I would just like to say how chuffed I am to have received the Wolves Blog Postcard!

doog

It came as a bit of a shock to me, when I was thinking about what to write for this blog, that it is coming up to the 45th Anniversary of when I first fell under the spell of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

April 15th 1969. Wolves at home to Coventry City.

Doog headshotI’ve told the story in a previous blog. It was the day that I had the bizarre photograph taken that appears next to my attempts at wit and wisdom on the blog. The game finished 1-1, it wasn’t a particularly good match. Peter Knowles stood out as a potential George Best impersonator but, that apart, there was not much to report…

Except that a seed had been sown inside the heart of the callow youth that I was then which over the years has grown into a full blown love affair.

Up until then I had watched Birmingham City play a couple of times (Francis, Latchford et al) without really being grabbed by the vitals. And, because I was born and bred there, Oxford United when ‘Big Ron’ was their captain. I think everyone is allowed ‘another team’ and Oxford United is certainly that for me. I admit that I went to Wembley a few years back when they got back into the Football League through the play offs and shouted myself hoarse with the best of them.

But when it all boils down to it, Oxford is like a member of the family. A brother that I was brought up with.

It was there, I was there.

But when you become REALLY involved with a football team, it’s like getting hooked on drugs.

Or falling in love with your mistress – or toyboy.

It’s a decision that you choose to make and, whatever the consequences of that decision, you are stuck with it.

For life!

Doog postcard 2

You’ll have great highs – Stuffing Arsenal 5-1 in the snow, beating Leeds 2-1 when they were odds on to win the double, watching The Doog or Waggy or Johnny Richards or Bully in their pomp.

And you’ll have gut-wrenching lows – we all know what they have been like. I’m not prepared to start listing them here.

But even when your lover – your drug of choice – is treating you like shit…. you still go crawling back.

And, over all these years, that’s the way it’s been for me.

Being a Wolves fan is a difficult business. But some poor sucker has to do it and it might just as well be me.

…And you lot aren’t going to get away with it either!

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But even us Wolves fans have a right to be optimistic and right now I certainly am.

I am beginning to think that this time it could be the start of something really good.

As such, I raise a metaphorical glass of alcoholical (?!) Yellow Tail to the man who has been largely responsible for the upturn in our fortunes.

Kenny Jackett!

And another glass – let’s make it real this time – to the members of his ‘Worldwide Barmy Army’.

US!!!!!!

Cheers all!

Doog postcard 1

The pictures show what a beautiful part of the World I live in, steeped in history and with strange, ancient links to The Wolves.

Silbury Hill is one of the enigmas of the ancient World. A vast monolith. Nobody really knows why it’s there or what use it was – a bit like a certain Chief Executive we all know and love.

The stones at Avebury have stood, unmoving, for centuries. Just like The Wolves defence of the last couple of seasons (Not now though).

The White Horse at Alton Barnes overlooks the crop circle centre of (and the best pub in) the Universe and is the highest point in Wiltshire… Top!

Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #5 – Melbourne, Australia

After getting lost for months in the back and beyond of Chile, the Wolves Blog Postcard has traveled across the South Pacific to Melbourne, where our very own Ash K (Ashley Kausman) was waiting with open arms.

Ashley Australia

How does an 8 year old boy in Melbourne, Australia become a Wolves fan when the year is 1970 and there are no live games shown, no internet, no Wolves Blog?

We used to get Match of the Day on a Saturday morning – a week after the match was played. The telecast was in black and white, so even if the commentators mentioned “old gold”, I probably did not have an accurate idea of team colours.

The local Australian Rules Football teams had nick-names like Lions, Hawks, Bombers, and it just didn’t make sense to me to cheer for a team called “City” or “Town” or “United”. So the “Wolves” became my team. Apart from the occasional game on Match of the Day, the only information that I really had was to check the scores and tables in Monday morning’s papers.

Ash K

My relationship was further cemented when I went to high school and a number of the kids followed English Football more closely. Whilst most were Man U, Derby, Arsenal and Liverpool supporters, I discovered a friend (Darren) who not only followed Wolves, but regularly received match day programs – My year 8 school folders were covered with pictures from the programs – I recall one reviewing the away match at Burnley headlined “Turf Moore, More, MORE!” (I think we scored 5 or 6 there).

The descent through the divisions was not covered in much detail in Australia, although I still checked the scores every Monday!

My first visit to Molineux came in the 1989-90 season. I was working in Liverpool for 6 months, and despite them having a more than useful local team, I managed to get myself down to Wolverhampton and stand on the terraces with a dilapidated empty stand on the left side of the ground.

Memorable results included a 2-1 win over the Baggies and 1-0 over Leeds. (My wife and kids are all familiar with the “Leeds” song).

Premier League status (first time) and the advent of live games on pay TV enhanced my connection with Wolves, where I could finally see a handful of games live. I also travel quite a bit for work and had a bizarre experience at a trade show in Singapore, where a gathering of a few hundred people at a Tax Free exhibition found a core group of Wolves fans from UK (Andrew), Abu Dhabi (Dan), Singapore (Alex) and Sweden (Janne Eric).

Ash and son

Premier League second time, saw Australian TV broadcast just about every game live, although it meant start times of anything from midnight to 5 am. Although my wife thinks that I am completely mad, I watched most matches and have managed to welcome my middle child to the fold and he is now a committed Wolves fan .

I have to credit Wolves Blog as being a major factor in my connection with everything Wolves – I find myself checking in pretty much every day (even in the off season awaiting trades that never seem to occur). It is great to hear the differing views of the good, bad and ugly and without having met any of the contributors, I somehow still feel like I “know” many of you.

Usain Bolt Ash Lastly, I want to let you know of my 2 sporting highlights of 2012…

At number 2 – being a part of the Gambian team at the London Olympics, including marching at the opening ceremony. (But why an Australian who has never been to the Gambia is a member of their team is a whole other story for another time!)

And my number 1 sporting highlight of 2012 was winning the Wolves Blog prediction league! Being 10,555 miles from Molineux, and therefore unable to attend any home or away matches, I can’t explain my predictive prowess other than to say that with Wolves, being a pessimist pays off – though hopefully that is now starting to change.

Go Wolves!

Ashley

Wolves Blog Postcard Stop #4 – Santiago, Chile

Just when I’d given up hope, the Wolves Blog Postcard has resurfaced. Colm in Santiago, Chile sent me the following:

colm santiago

Apologies, apologies, apologies! I have the post card. I received the card shortly before we left Chile as we are now back in the UK and the move has meant it slipped off MY personal radar.

Wolves Blog Chile 2

The two pictures on the rugby field are taken in the grounds of The Grange School, which is the poshest school in Santiago where I was the Principal of the Prep School and my two boys Fintan and Cormac attended. The blondest boy is one of their friends, Jose Miguel.

Wolves Blog postcard Chile

Although cloudy you can just make out the Andes mountains in the background. The other photo which has the card silhouetted is Cormac from the top floor of a hotel. You get a better view of the mountains in this one.

Chile postcardI am from the Dougan, Richards, Wagstaffe, Hibbitt & Munro era. My first game was in in 1973 – a home defeat to Ipswich Town.

Richards scored our goal and whilst we were pretty poor that day it wasn’t nearly as bad as the dismal 0-2 defeat by Ipswich last season which was my last live game and possibly one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen.

I live in Yorkshire at the moment but will hope to get to some games this season. In the middle of 2014 we are moving to South Korea and perhaps if I promise not to hide the card for several months like this time, you might let me take some photos from the Far East!

You can track the progress of the Wolves Blog Postcard and register your interest in receiving it on the dedicated section here.