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.
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.
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).
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.
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.