For a wilderness generation who has to take their parents’ word for it, Wolves weren’t put on the footballing map to make up the numbers.
Aside from a dogeared ticket stub from a 4th round replay in 1995, I’d only had evidence to the contrary, where Molineux would echo to the shrills of the players on the pitch, and the biting wind would make you wonder why you even bothered.
Dad would be with me throughout, carefully cooling my Bovril. The days when his loyalty wasn’t measured by points, but Golden Goal tickets he’d buy in forlorn hope and fanzines he’d fumble for when he couldn’t feel his fingers.
He wasn’t there last night, when all those indelible memories assumed greater poignancy, as Nuno realigned the stars and told the world that Wolves weren’t put on the footballing map to make up the numbers.
This was a win for all ages, with the oldest generation finally content that things were how they should be. Our rock and roll elders basked in the Led Zep revelry (been a long time, eh?), while my own son stood open mouthed in wonder, his eyes shimmering off the light show that genuinely took his breath away.
I just sat there dumbstruck, carefully cooling his Bovril.
This wasn’t so much a win to eradicate the miserable days of old, but to carefully store them away in the archives, once and for all.
In beating Manchester United to reach Wembley, we entered a new paradigm so enticing that we should no longer look back with anger. Nor should we define this win as the pinnacle, as Fosun’s millions and Nuno’s alchemy suggests that this is just the beginning.
My only regret was that my Dad wasn’t there to see it, having braved the elements on my behalf for so many years, precisely for this moment. He was holding Grandma’s hand in hospital, as she took another turn for the worse.
She could recount the good old days with the best of them, when the Sporting Star was printed in old gold hue. As Diogo Jota smashed home gloriously to scenes I’ll never forget, she’d have seen her great-grandson leaping for joy.
She’d have been very happy.