|Robert Plant, lead
singer of Led Zeppelin and sex god to many, once told me
in an interview about his first, and most enduring, 'love
affair' ... for Wolves. He was four-years-old, sat
astride his uncle's shoulders and watching the gold
shirts take the field at Molineux. And the man who
cemented that life long passion for Wolves? "Billy
Wright. He turned and waved to me, nobody else, to
ME. When Billy's Book of Soccer came out my mother got
him to sign it and from then on I've been friends
with the captain of England and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
That was such an outstanding moment in my life."
Robert Plant was genuinely impressed when I told him that
I had met the great man twice. The first time was when he
started a marathon in Burton-on-Trent. The second was
when he welcomed me to his desk at the Central-TV studios
in Birmingham in the last week of his working life. He
was a humble and patient man, perfectly happy to answer
questions that he must have fielded countless times
before. My article appeared in the Wolves programme
in three separate issues, which was testimony to
the depth of the story. I kid myself that it reminded a
few folk behind the scenes that one of the club's
favourite sons was still ready for action. Not long
afterwards he became a director.
CHARLIE BAMFORTH Davis, California
I first met William Ambrose as an autograph hunter in 1960. It was the first footballer's autograph I ever had! He was playing in a showbiz match after his retirement in my home town of Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. I was so thrilled to speak to him as a little boy of about 13 and never realised that, some 18 years later, he would give me my first job in television. I have some lovely memories of him getting his words mixed up. On one occasion, his car broke down on the M1 as he was coming to work. He told me he had to pull up on the cold shoulder! It was a privilege to work with him and I shall always be grateful for his decision to give me a chance in television. It gave me nearly two decades on national TV, presenting a huge variety of different programmes with the opportunity to travel all over the world. Bill, thank you very much.
NICK OWEN BBCtv, Midlands
I would like to share two memories of Billy that reveal what a caring, thoughtful man he was away from the football pitch. When I was fourteen, I was travelling to a match on the same train as the Wolves team. My pal and I found their compartment and stared at them open eyed through the glass. Billy saw us looking and instead of telling us to push off invited us both in to meet him and his team-mates. To be in the presence of Mullen, Hancocks, Slater, Williams and, of course, 'Sir' Billy, left us two schoolboys speechless for days . A year or so later my friend, Eric, became gravely ill. Billy got to hear about it and, quietly, visited him in hospital and brought real sunshine to his last few days. Eric's parents were greatly appreciative of this wonderful gesture by a true gentleman and great sportsman.
DAVE STEVENS Halesowen
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