|I have three
outstanding memories of Billy that I would like to share.
First of all, I recall an incredible match at Molineux in
1953-54. With Wilf Mannion in exceptional form,
Middlesbrough rushed into a 3-0 lead. Their third goal
came from a penalty given against our Billy. It was an
outrageous decision, but this true sportsman just
shrugged his shoulders and did not protest. Wolves
battled back, but eventually lost 4-2. They had the last
laugh when Billy collected the League championship trophy
for the first time at the end of the season. The
following year I saw Billy concede a penalty for which he
would have got sent off in the modern game. He fisted the
ball over the bar to stop a certain goal in front of more
than 75,000 spectators in an Easter Saturday match at
Stamford Bridge. Peter Sillett scored from the penalty
spot, and Chelsea went on to win the League championship
with Wolves in second place. In 1956 I was serving with
the Royal Signals in Germany when England played the
world champions Germany in Berlin. The British Army did
not have access to television, but the recently reformed
German Army did and a group of their NCOs kindly invited
us to watch the match with them in their headquarters in
Southern Bavaria. Duncan Edwards got the headlines with a
smashing goal in England's 3-1 victory, but for me Billy
was the star of the match with his magnificent
performance in the middle of the England defence. I liked
the description of Billy coined by the highly respected
John Camkin in the News Chronicle. He wrote that
he was not just the Footballer of the Year but the
'Footballer of the Generation.' That summed him up
JOHN WITHERS Penn, Wolverhampton
My brother Bill, then about 38-years-old, was walking along Wembley Way with his son before the kick-off to the international match in which England beat Scotland 5-1 in 1975. Suddenly, he heard somebody calling out 'Billy,' and he instinctively stopped and turned to find the one and only Billy Wright walking behind him. Running up to him, with a young boy in tow, was a Scottish supporter asking for Billy's autograph. He signed without hesitation, and they got chatting about past England-Scotland games in which Billy had played. Billy then made his way to the stadium, and my brother overheard this conversation between the Scot and the young boy with him:
'Dad. Dad, who's that man?'
''That my son is the one and only Billy Wright.'
'Who's Billy Wright?'
'Who's Billy Wright?' the father said in a broad Scottish accent. 'I'll tell you who he is. He's only the greatest England centre-half England ever had. The bastard!'
My brother laughed all the way to the ground, and he still does when he recalls the incident all these years later.
Our family are all Wolves supporters who grew up watching Billy play. We're all agreed that Billy was Wolves, and there will never be another like him.
RONALD WHITCOMBE Brierley Hill, West Midlands
I was a regular at Molineux from 1944 to 1954 before moving away from the area. I saw Billy start out as a utility player, unable to force his way into the team at half-back because of the consistent play of that wonderful half-back trio of Galley, Cullis and Gardiner. Billy also had to compete with the very tall Horace Wright, and Jimmy Alderton and Billy Crook. But once he was firmly in the team he became the most consistent of all the players. Week after week he outran, outpassed and outjumped his opponents. I have never known a player who was so effective every single week. It was an inspired move by Stan Cullis to switch him to centre-half. Who can forget how the comparatively short man with that distinctive blond hair continually rose above taller centre-forwards to head the ball away? He so rarely made a mistake, and on top of all this he was a regular good guy.
ROY CADDICK Frinton-on-Sea, Essex)
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