Once upon a time, being a Wolves fan wasn’t so much a matter of life or death but something way more important, with my mood, outlook on life and even school attendance beholden to the fortunes of our Wanderers.
Typical of any fan of gold and black persuasion, my highs soared higher than Ryan Bennett at the back post and my lows trundled miserably through a Tony Lange divot.
Nowadays, I meander somewhere between the two, with an outpouring of tribal passion seen once every blue moon.
Fitting then, that our Man City triumph was the catalyst to stir the sluggish juices, in ways I doubted my body had the capacity to feel anymore. With a shrill of whistles echoing around leaden skies and our admirable side scrapping away in the rain, Boubacar’s rangy right leg interrupted another City assault, as the ref took a look at his watch.
‘CORNER FLAG’, I bellowed from behind the gaps in my fingers, in a primal roar that simultaneously lifted me out of my seat and reaffirmed my unwavering love of this crackpot club.
It’s a love that will never die, even if it doesn’t see the light of day so often anymore.
And it’s for this reason that Saturday’s most unlikely of wins meant so much more than three points to anyone who was there to see it.
I know I wasn’t alone and others were feeling it too, as the decibels continued to rise to levels reserved for play-off semi-finals and the most halcyon of Nuno days. From 80 minutes onwards, I could barely look at what I was watching, partly because of the proximity between Jose Sa’s goal and the ball, but mainly because a late tragedy would have been too horrific for such newfound levels of hope to contemplate.
It wasn’t just Wolves against the best team in Europe, but referee Pawson, Stockley Park and the very hands of time, which not only stopped every time I checked my watch, but officially ground to a standstill on the old South Bank clock.
For the sake of my rejuvenated juices and the love of 30,000 fanatics around me, we couldn’t lose that game of football as it had morphed into something far greater. It was a dose of medicine that three points will never do justice to, with the roar at the final whistle so deafening that I struggled to comprehend how any fan base could have needed it more.
By God we needed that win and every last drop of its restorative effect, if not to stave off the threat of the bottom three but to rehabilitate a downtrodden legion of late, who’d forgotten why the Beautiful Game can be so drop-dead gorgeous.
As I walked along the Waterloo Road and up towards town at the final whistle, everyone was smiling and the world felt somehow lighter.
‘I’d take that Brighton score today,’ muttered a weathered old soul to himself before kick off, as he contemplated life towards a Billy Wright urinal.
I bet he thought he’d seen it all before but being born under a Wanderers scarf means he probably never will.
Not so much three points on a Saturday afternoon, but a Molineux memento to remind us why gold and black runs through our blood.