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I was fortunate enough to meet "the Bevs" in 1958 when the secret arrangements for Billy and Joy's wedding were taking place. At that time, my late father, Councillor Henry Brown, was Mayor of Bournemouth, and "the Bevs" were appearing in a summer show in the town. Joy and Babs came to our hotel to discuss the Poole Registry Office arrangements with my Father, who arranged security from fans, in order that the event went smoothly. It was a great delight and privilege to meet them, and I have in my possession a lovely letter of thanks from them, which is in the book of press cuttings and letters of my Father's very successful year as Mayor of Bournemouth 1958-1959. Of course, the secret leaked out and Poole was absolutely jam-packed on their special day. It just proved the popularity of Billy and Joy. Yes, the Posh and Becks of their day.

MARY BROWN Bournemouth

My mother worked in Wolverhampton during the war, and at night was an Air Raid Warden. She told me that each Warden had a young lad as their "message runner", and she was very proud to say that for a time her runner was a nice lad called Bill Wright, who became captain of Wolves and England.


In April 1962 I had the privilege to represent my country at international youth level with a two week tournament in Romania. Billy Wright was our Manager and a few of the players went on to make full time careers, Paul Madeley, Howard Wilkinson, Graham Carr, David Pleat to name a few. One story that sticks in my mind was when Billy knocked on my hotel door not long after we had arrived in Romania from England. We had all made the same comment on what a lovely man he was and how welcome he made us all feel. Most of the books I read in the fifties were football annuals, with no TV or playbacks to follow in those days, so our Heroes were what we saw in these books and Billy Wright England Captain was mine. You can imagine how I felt when I opened that door all those years ago and my hero was standing there. He said, 'Hi Clive, sorry to trouble you so early but do you have some black shoe polish I can borrow? I forgot to pack mine.' Well you can imagine my response. He could have had the Crown Jewels off me at that particular moment. A little later that day we went to his room for the announcement of the first team selection to play Yugoslavia and he said 'No10 inside left ... Clive Trenchard.' I was so proud to be representing my country at youth level. I went on to follow Billy's career and was very saddened by his death. Nobody in football has been more respected and admired.


I am a journalist with 20 years professional experience. As a cub reporter on the West Bromwich Midland Chronicle, back in 1981, I set out to interview Billy when he was Head of Sport at ITV. I missed the date of our interview. The great man never alluded to this. Basically, he could have had me bulleted out of the door, if he had so wished. There was not one word of complaint, just a gentle smile. We talked about Wolves for an hour . . . magic! When I met him, he never once alluded to my discomfort on having been something of a disorganised fool. Mr Wright was the true measure of a real man, I think. He was impressively someone who did not push his weight around. Billy Wright was different class – a real boy's own hero and a wonderful one club man.


My mother, Mrs. Percy Ferriday, was head of an Infants School on Madeley Bank, Ironbridge, in the 1930s and used to tell me that she taught Billy Wright to read. The school (somewhere near the top of Jockey Bank) was called the Green School (not to be confused with the Blue School at St. Luke's), and the Junior School was next door. At dinner time, a boy would be despatched to the Infants, saying 'Can our Billy come and play?', and he did. He was six at the time and would be launching his career training with boys up to the age of 14. My mother did not, of course, realise how momentous this was at the time but later, all through his many 'caps' she dined out on it.