1950 I was selected to play for Herefordshire Schoolboys
away to Shrewsbury. When we arrived at the ground we were
told England captain Billy Wright was going to be there.
We kicked off but after about 15 minutes I received a
nasty knock on the ankle. There were no substitutes then
so I limped until half time. In the dressing room, I sat
down very distressed but to my surprise in came Billy
Wright! 'Lets have a look at that ankle son,' he said. 'I
might be able to ease it a bit for you.' He brought in a
bucket of cold water. 'Put your foot in there. Hopefully
it will ease the pain.' I played the second half, my
ankle a little better. I often think to myself what a
wonderful thing for the captain of England to take the
time to help a dejected schoolboy footballer. |
JOHN HAMMOND Hereford
My father, Len Higgins, was chairman of the schools football committee in Bridgnorth, eight or so miles from where Billy was born. I used to go regularly to the local Innage Lane playing fields to watch the football. St Leonard's School now stands where the football pitches used to be. One Saturday in 1937 I stood looking on from the touchline as the visiting Madeley Boys team ran rings round our Bridgnorth side. You could not miss the Madeley centre-forward, not only because of his distinctive blonde almost white hair but also because of the fact that he kept putting the ball into our net! I am now eighty-one and my memory plays tricks, but I am sure he scored ten goals that day. Of course, it was Billy Wright, and my heart missed a beat when he came close to me and I saw what a good-looking lad he was! Along with my father, I followed his career with Wolves and England and I am proud to have been there right at the start. I am still a voluntary teacher's helper, and make a point of telling six and seven year olds the story of Shropshire's famous son.
JOAN HIGGINS Bridgnorth, Shropshire
There were a lot of headlines being made in 1939 by Major Frank Buckley, saying that he was giving his players a monkey gland treatment before the FA Cup final against Portsmouth. Young Billy Wright was then a Wolves apprentice, and one day we met in Ironbridge Road, Madeley, and I asked him about the treatment. He handed me a tablet and said that all the apprentices were being told to take them, rather than have the injections that the senior players were having. In my opinion, having taken it, I would say it was just a straight forward vitamin tablet. I am now 85 and continue to follow Wolves closely, with wonderful memories of Billy's days at Molineux.
G.A. EVANS Wellington, Telford
I knew Billy Wright when I was a schoolboy during the war and he was a corporal at Copthorne Barracks in the ITC. My father had a large garden near the barracks with many fruit trees, and we used to pick apples, pears and plums for all the physical training instructors. Billy was already a local hero, and my mother used to give me two fresh eggs to hand to Billy every Friday morning. He was a lovely man, and I used to be allowed into the barracks to watch him play football with such talented team-mates as Billy Richardson, Johnny Hancocks and Roy Brown.
JOHN JONES Shrewsbury
I attended the Madeley Secondary Modern School, where Billy had been a famous pupil nearly twenty years earlier. One day in 1954 he returned to visit the school and I was so excited at the prospect of meeting my Wolves hero. I dashed back to school after lunch at home to find that he had been and gone. I have always kicked myself that I did not take sandwiches that day. His widow, Joy, kindly donated one of his caps to the school. Billy was head boy at Madeley for a brief spell, and was sports editor of the school's first magazine, The Hillsian.
ROSALEEN PEARSON nee Jones Upper Astley, Shrewsbury
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