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YOUR MEMORIES OF BILLY WRIGHT

These are among the memories of Billy Wright that our website visitors have kindly shared with us. If you wish to have your memory or tribute included, please email here: mailto:tributes@billywright.co.uk

One hundred of the special memories will be published in Billy's authorised biography, A Hero for All Seasons. You can order the book here and also get a unique free souvenir.

 

I saw Billy play for the first time when I was a schoolboy supporter of Wolves. It was the last year of the war and Sergeant Billy Wright, as he was then, scored a hat-trick inside 20 minutes while playing at inside-left against Nottingham Forest at Molineux. To my young eyes he looked a giant of a player, and I was surprised to find some time later that he stood only 5ft 8in. He remains a giant in my memory, and I feel privileged to have watched him throughout his wonderful career with Wolves and England. What I would like to know is why on earth he was not knighted. England had no more loyal player.

TOM BEVIN

Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton

When Billy was captain of Wolves in their first championship-winning season, I used to wait outside the dressing-room at home matches to see my idol. There used to be long queues of us kids waiting with autograph books, and he used to patiently sign every single one. No boy was ever allowed to leave disappointed. He was a wonderful ambassador for Wolves and also for the England football team. There is nobody around today to touch him as a sporting competitor who never ever cheated.

ERIC HALLINGTON

Lichfield, Staffs

Not too many people will remember Billy for his goals, but I saw him score an extraordinary one for England against Italy at Highbury in 1949. He collected the ball on the centre line, ran forward and then let fly from fully 40 yards. There was a strong following wind and the ball seemed to do a tour of the penalty area before curling into the top of the net past an amazed Italian goalkeeper. I think Billy was even more amazed! Billy never had the best of luck as manager of my club, Arsenal, but he was always pleasant and he once opened a fete for me without asking for a penny piece for his time and trouble. A true gentleman, and a great footballer.

A.E. JACOBSON

Finsbury Park, London

My memory of Billy Wright was of seeing him and my idol Nat Lofthouse knocking ten skittles out of each other during a First Division battle at Burnden Park in the 1950s. Then, at the final whistle, they cuddled each other and went off the pitch laughing and joking. It typified the approach of both players. They gave 100 per cent to their team, but never lost sight of the fact that sportsmanship is an important part of the game. They could give lessons to today's spoilt, pampered and over-paid players. Billy was a wonderful servant to England, and his 105th cap was the same size as his first one. He was always modest and a model professional.

GEORGE BIRTLES

Bolton, Lancs

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