|I have been a sports
writer and sports editor for newspapers in Rhodesia and
South Africa and lived in Rhodesia for many years. I had
the pleasure of meeting Billy when he came to Rhodesia to
play in an exhibition match just after his retirement. It
was arranged by a chap called Bill Kemish, who was then
secretary of the Southern Rhodesia Football Association
and who also had a half hour radio sports programme on
which Billy and I appeared together.
One anecdote I remember well from Billy's visit was when we took him to dinner at the Jamaica Inn, about twenty miles from Salisbury on the road to Umtali. It was owned by an Englishman, Arthur Scrutton, a former professional footballer. As we entered, Arthur, now in late middle age, spotted the famous crop of fair hair and the handsome face of the ex-Wolves and England star. An emotional man by nature, he was so overwhelmed he could hardly speak. It was a chilly night (Rhodesian winter), so he ushered us to our seats near the fire in the main lounge and organised our drinks. A few minutes later he returned. With tears welling in his eyes, he looked at Billy and said, with unabashed pride: 'I never thought I would have the privilege of hosting the captain of England in my establishment. Welcome Mr Wright.' They shook hands. He said the drinks were on the house and departed, off to treasure the moment in private.
FRED CLEARY Cape Town
I was a Metropolitan Police officer for almost 30 years, and used to stand in the tunnel at White Hart Lane for every Tottenham home match. This gave me access to the players, and my only regret is that I started my duties just after Billy retired. I would loved to have had the chance to say to him what pleasure and enjoyment he had given me as a fan watching him play from the terraces. Even though I was a Tottenham supporter, I could appreciate his commitment and dedication. I emigrated to beautiful New Zeland after retiring from the police, and I am still warmed by the memories of those great televised floodlit matches in which Billy starred with Wolves in the 1950s and which captured the interest of the nation.
PETER MOSS Christchurch, New Zealand
My grandfather, Charles Morris, has asked me to e-mail this memory of Billy Wright: "I never used to miss a Wolves match when I lived in Shropshire in the 1950s. My brother and I queued for hours after one of the floodlit matches, I think it was against either Spartak or Dynamo one of the Moscow teams. When Billy finally came out he stood and signed every autograph book and scrap of paper pushed in front of him, until Stan Cullis came out and told him that he was late for the after-match banquet. My brother and I were at the back of the queue and Billy saw how disappointed we were and insisted on signing for another five minutes. When I apologised for keeping him from the dinner, he said, 'You supporters are much more important. It's when you stop asking for my autograph that I will start to worry!'
NICK MORRIS Folkestone
As I am only 15, I did not see Billy play, but when I look at his statue as I go into Molineux I always feel as if he still there for us. He is inspiring us on the way up to the Premiership!
JEREMY DIXON Wolverhampton
I first saw Billy play in the 1930s when he was still a boot boy. In those days I used to support Wolves from the Cow Shed, and I made friends with several of the players including Bryn Jones, Tom Galley and Jesse Pye. Every Saturday we girls would go to the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton where we used to dance with the players. I can remember dancing with Billy, and I also used to have tea with him and the rest of the lads in the Copper Kettle. They were very well disciplined in those days and if any of them did take a drink in a pub late in the week they would be reported to Major Buckley. He would not stand for any nonsense. I am an Oxley girl and my heart is still with the Wolves, although these days I live in Dorset.
MRS CONNIE LATCHAM Wimborne Dorset
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