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In 1958 I was a seventeen-year-old toolmaking apprentice with a firm in Redditch. Working with me at that time was a football referee called George Hoban. He was listed to be a linesman on March 8 1958 for the Wolves v Newcastle match at Molineux. He had a complimentary ticket for the game that he gave to me and took me to Wolverhampton. I had a seat in the stand, tea at half-time and I met Stan Cullis. After the match, which Wolves won 3-1, I was waiting for George, who was still in the changing room. He suggested I wait outside on the pitch. The ground by then was completely empty. As I stood waiting, out came Billy Wright on his way home. He spotted me standing on my own and came over and asked if I was all right. I nodded, and he then talked about the game. He gave me that big smile of his, said `cheerio' and continued across the pitch and out of the ground, leaving me open-mouthed. There I was, seventeen-years-old and an ardent Wolves supporter who had just actually spoken to the captain of Wolves and England. He was an absolute gentleman. What a terrific end to a terrific day. Would the present captain to the same, or any other player? I think not.”

BRIAN ELLINS Bromsgrove, Worcs


I am a third generation Wolves supporter, and although I myself never saw Billy play, my mother was privileged to do so during the halcyon days of the forties and fifties. My mother's cousin is none other than Bert `The Cat' Williams, who played with Billy over four hundred times. Billy was my mother's favourite player, and in those days one of the few items of memorabilia you could buy was a badge of each individual player. She always wore a Billy Wright badge. It is my belief that to truly support a football team, it is in the genes, inherited from past generations, and tales of the amazing achievements of the Wolves team of the fifties comprise some of my earliest memories. I was brought up on stories of huge crowds packed into Molineux, of fabulous cup-ties and League wins, of a wonderful team led by a wonderful Captain.

“On the sad death of Billy in 1994 I was moved to write a poem in tribute, which I sent to Joy Beverley Wright, and I was privileged to receive a hand-written reply back from her which included these words, `Your poem in tribute to this wonderful man is simply exquisite. We all love it, and will treasure it always.' I enclose this poem in the hope you can share it with all those other supporters who hold Billy in such esteem ...

A hero among heroes , when the Wanderers reigned as kings,

Your memory we will treasure, what ere the future brings.

Your record goes before you, your achievements never wane,

But what we most remember is how you loved the game.

As Captain of your country, or sporting black and gold,

Your name will live on forever, it never will grow old.

In an era that was sporting, you shone above the rest,

You always were a gentleman, you always gave your best.

So remember now our motto, `Out of Darkness Cometh Light,”

We're proud that you belonged to us, we'll miss you, Billy Wright

ELIZABETH BARKER Aldridge, Walsall

15 TRIBUTES

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