Tuesday 16 September 2014

Playing Wolves

When I first started supporting Charlton, one of the most feared visits was that of Wolves. This was understandable because in 1953/4 they became champions for the first time and were then runners up the following year. This was the era of Billy Wright, their skipper and right half, who had clocked up 54 international appearances by 1953 and was the England captain. He joined Wolves straight from school and he was nearly turned down because he was so small.

It is common these days for footballers to have celebrity partners, but Wright pioneered this trend by marrying Joe Beverley of the Beverley Sisters. With their saccharine style, they were big in the 1950s.

I have the programme for their visit on 21st November 1953, a match which we lost 0-2. Wolves had three other internationals in their team, wing forward Hancocks scoring one of the goals.

The programme described Wolves 'as strong representatives from the Midlands whom we have always associated with all that is best in the game. Before World War II in the Major Buckley era, Wolves were prominent in big transfer deals, and at one period fielded the youngest team in the First Division. Between 1935 and 1939 Wolves received £110,658 in transfer fees - a colossal sum when it is considered that top prices of that period were nothing like as high as they are today.' According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, that would be £6,577,484 in today's prices.

I am looking forward to the game tonight which will be a big test of what Charlton can expect to achieve this season with Wolves one point and two places ahead of the Addicks. Away from home, they have won one, drawn one and lost one. Odds are 19/10 Charlton, draw 9/4, Wolves 6/4.

Solly is likely to be rested and Gudmundsson is likely to be unavailable. I would consider playing Joe Gomez at right back and having Lawrie Wilson further up field.

Yoni Buyens pays tribute to Bob Peeters as a coach here: Buyens


Brian G said...

You're a lucky man, Wyn. My wife wasn't keen on my bringing all my programmes up to the Midlands in 1979, so I passed them all except the 1947 semi and final programmes on to a friend's brother. How I miss them! They were even then a tremendous source of nostalgia and looking through them used to bring so many players back to life. The things we do for love!Tonight's match will - yet again - be our hardest so far this season but, as I said on another part of your website, we'll win 2-1.

Steve Clarke said...

I'm a fraction too young to remember the great Wolves team, which is a shame. They probably moved post-war English football forward a step or two, especially when they embraced European games, though from memory, only friendlies. I was lucky enough to meet Billy Wright a couple of times in the 90s. A charming man. Wolves are one of those teams who, for no particular reason, I quite like.

Wyn Grant said...

Brian G, I don't have many programmes from that era, but the visit of Wolves was always special. Like Steve, I quite like them, I think because they were so good to watch when I started watching football. However, I hope that Brian G is right in his forecast.

Geoff said...

It seemed to this diligent reader of all football reports in the 50's that journo's were duty bound to mention Johnnie Hancock's size 4 boots. Every time he scored it was "a size 4 boot planting the ball in the net" or some such. I imagine that if the guy at the ground didn't put it in, a sub would add it back at base. Hope none of the current gold n blacks has size 4!

Unknown said...

If anyone going tonight can they take some snaps directors area as it be interesting if levy has made another guest apearance.He normally sits next to jim Davidson near the wall.I think wilson might start tonight and gomez in for solly with perhaps bullot playing as well im going for a nice 3-1 win buyens,bulot and wilson screamer come on you reds

Unknown said...

I always sort of followed wolves i rem they did a slide right down to old div 3 days -they had big terracing behind the goal if i remember and i always like steve bull and andy mutch strike force they have had a right mad ten years i say simular to us in away who remembers derek mountfield what a player he was!>

Unknown said...

James Mcfadden has just had an interview with sky sports saying "im not finished"worth a punt?