|My first recollection
of Billy Wright was in 1954 when my father gave me for a
Christmas present the Charles Buchan Football Annual. The
first photograph was one of Billy Wright holding the
First Division trophy and from that time I became a
Wolves fan and Billy my idol. Living in Dublin, and
without television, it was difficult to see Billy play
for Wolves but I was fortunate to see him play for
England in 1957 when England knocked Ireland out of the
World Cup with a last minute equaliser. I also saw him
play for the Football League. Billy was good for a few
thousand on Dalymount Park's gate. The 50s was a
wonderful time to grow up and be a football fan, as there
were many exceptional football players who were true
gentlemen and would be an example to any impressionable
youngster. I believe I picked the best when I picked
BILL DAVIS Prestwood
My meeting with Billy in 1978 was very lucky for me. I was travelling from Stratford upon Avon to London by train when it stopped at Coventry and I noticed Billy walking along the platform. He got into my carriage and sat down by me, saying 'good morning' as he sat. As you can imagine, being a life- long Wolves supporter, i was in my element. We got talking and I told Billy that when I was about eight years old, which would have been 1956, I got his autograph. He asked where he signed and I told him it was at a charity cricket match, Wolves against Stourbridge. He smiled and said, 'You know, I played 105 times for England and had all that success with Wolves, but I always enjoyed playing cricket more than football.' This has always stuck in my mind and I am happy to share this with you.
DAVE FINN Flitwick, Bedfordshire
Living in the Bridgnorth area of Shropshire, like everyone I had heard of the local lad, Billy Wright, who was doing so well playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers. My first opportunity to see him in Wolves' colours was on January 30 1946, when he scored Wolves' goal in the 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic at Molineux. At that stage of his career he was playing in the forward line. My early visits to Molineux meant that I had to bring a small stool or 'pop' bottle case to stand on whilst leaning on the wall in the Waterloo Road Enclosure. When Billy played his last match in the 1959 club trial I managed to sit in the Waterloo Road Stand for the first time ever. I went back home after that game feeling that I had lost something special.
When the 'new' Molineux Stadium was built in 1993, I met Billy Wright - Director - at most home matches, because by then I had been asked to be a Tour Guide at Molineux and participate in hospitality work on match-days.
I used to see Billy at reserve, youth and all midweek matches, travelling up from his North London home specially to see them in action. That was the sort of dedicated man he was. I never once saw him refuse an autograph or to have his photograph taken.
I was there in August 1993, when Wolves played Millwall at Molineux and the Billy Wright Stand was officially opened. After the game, a colour portrait of Billy was unveiled in the Hayward Suite. Looking at it, Billy commented that he looked as though he had just heard Wolves had lost 7-1! The sequel to this came some months later when, during a guided tour of Molineux, I told this story to the visitors and noticed a lady giving me an 'old-fashioned' look. I asked her if she had a question, and you can imagine how I felt when she told me that the artist was her husband!
I had the privilege of being the 'minder' for Ferenc Puskas when Honved played Wolves to mark the opening the new stadium. It was wonderful to hear him communicating with the media in Hungarian, Spanish and English. Before the game started, all the immediate post-war players were assembled in the players' tunnel before being paraded on the pitch. The main picture photographers needed was Billy standing with the portly Puskas. I took Ferenc over to Billy, and one of the photographers asked them to stand closer together. As they did so, one of Billy's former team-mates shouted, 'That's the nearest you ever got to him, Bill.' Billy laughed louder than anybody else. What a great sportsman."
HARRY DAVENHILL Pelsall, Walsall
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