What Wolves (and the DDCWWFCSC) mean to me…
...written by Phil Harris, posted in Guest Writers, with No Comments.
Phil Harris is a life long Wolves fan of Welsh descent, and long time member of the DDCWWFCSC here is his sentimental view of Wolves and us…..
Prior to 1975 I was a “lone Wolf” – attending matches at Molineux on my own – travelling up to Wolverhampton High Level Station by train from Machynlleth in Mid-Wales – or sometimes by car with a Mr.John Kealing – a Wolves Season Ticket Holder – who lived in nearby Aberdovey.
I used to stand in the Waterloo Road Stand initially – when aged 14, 15, 16 & 17 but then I “plucked up courage” & went to stand in the “North Bank” – with the “real hard core” supporters.
It was there that I noticed an “Ozzy Osborne” look-a-like – who used to fill in a note book at the end of every match – preceded by a roaring utterance: “Votes!! Can I have your votes, please?” – to which a number of people in the area would respond with answers like “Richards” or “Dougan” or “Kindon” etc. (Does anyone remember Kindon? He’d hit 50 yard passes to himself!!)
Then one day – we were away to WBA – and I went to this match as well – travelling up from Mid-Wales – without a match ticket. To my surprise (naive) it was not possible to buy a ticket on the day – so I was wandering around looking for someone to sell me a ticket – when I espied the “Ozzy” look-a-like!
I approached him cautiously – because you had to be careful at football matches in those days – and enquired if he had a spare ticket? He did – and he asked me if I attended matches often? I told him I did – and how I often saw him in the “North Bank” – collecting “Votes” at the end of each game.
“You’ll have to join our club then, the DDCWWFCSC!”, exclaimed “Ozzy” – who I later learnt was “Chris Cox” – AKA “Coxy” – and so I did!
I joined the DDCWWFCSC – at WBA (shit) – in 1975 – and the rest is history!
And it has been a very pleasant history indeed!
Through the DDCWWFCSC I came to know many of the others who stood at that part of the North Bank in the 1975/1976 season and onwards.
For example, to name but a few, a rather tall, “Robert Plant (of Led Zep) look-a-like” – known as “Light House” – or “House” for short! (Robert Clarke.)
A scraggy lean featured chap from Leamington Spa – known as “Scarecrow”. (Ian Jennings.) Simon “Clough” Yates; Steve Yardley; Darren; Rod Ireland; etc, etc.
And “Trish”, from Flore – near Northampton.
I was doing my A-levels that year – and not very well – so a bit like Wolves I had a bad season in 1975/1976. Wolves being relegated to Division 2, and me being “relegated” from having a University Place at Leicester – chosen because it was in the Midlands – to a HND place at the Polytechnic of Wales in Pontypridd.
The following year was a successful one – and I followed the Wolves avidly – even though I was based in Pontypridd. I was a “poor impoverished student” so I didn’t have a car – so I used to hitch-hike to matches – heading down the A470 to Cardiff to start the trips – then along the M4 – to the A449 – then up the M50 – to the M5 and onwards into Wolves – via Dudley.
It was OK getting to matches on a Saturday afternoon – but hitch-hiking BACK after a match was hopeless – so I would often end up staying the night at the home of “Lighthouse”. Rob would give up his bed for me – and I later learnt that his Mum, Molly, since deceased, used to give up her Sunday Dinner to see me well fed before I hitch hiked back to Pontypridd on the ensuing Sunday in daylight.
We had a good season that year – finishing as Champions when we secured a 1-1 draw at home against Chelsea – who thus themselves finished 2nd – in what was match 41 of 42 for us both – thus the penultimate match of the season.
It was a nice parallel when we went to Barnsley (Away) in our penultimate match 45 of the 2008/2009 season and became Champions with a 1-1 draw – before adding another 1-0 win in match 46 – at Home to Doncaster Rovers.
After getting my HND in Computer Studies 1978-79 I had to decide where to get work – and being a Wolves Fan – I plumped for the Midlands – and ended up getting a job in Coventry, with GEC Telecomms.
Suddenly, attending Wolves matches was easy! With a West Midlands Passenger Travelling Executive (WMPTE) Card you could travel anywhere in the region – and Coventry was at one end of the West Midlands – and Wolves the other!
Being a member of the DDCWWFCSC meant I actually got to go to all sorts of matches easily, and I even got to drink in the DDC itself – and meet the owner – Mr.Birch, his wife Paula, and her “special friend” Tiffy Lodge!
Our successful run in the League Cup of 1979/1980 saw me going to our Away matches at QPR, Grimsby (A Replay) and Swindon Town (Semi-Final 2nd Leg), and of course the Final itself at Wembley in 1980 against the current European Champions, Nottingham Forest – which we won 1-0 – thanks to a goal by a certain Andy Gray, now famous for his SKY Sports TV Commentary.
For the Swindon Town Away Trip – Scarecrow & Lighthouse found it hilarious that I woke someone up to ask them if they were going to eat their sandwiches, but I could tell the person wasn’t, so thought I could give them a good home.
Every year there would be a DDCWWFCSCAD (DDCWWFCSC Annual Dinner) – and these events were often attended by the players as well!
Thus a “lone Wolf” from Mid-Wales found himself able to meet, talk with, and even have a photograph taken with John Richards & Ken Hibbitt, or Willie Carr.
At some of the more special DDCWWFCSCADs – there were guests like Steve Bull, Sir Jack Hayward, and still the old stalwarts – John Richards & Willie Carr.
On one occasion I was sat next to a Wolves Ex-Manager, Bill McGary – now in his dotage – and looking a little frail – so I asked him: “Are you sure you can eat all those potatoes?” – which was at the time – and has been ever since – a source of great merriment & ridicule to my DDCWWFCSC chums!
All posts by Phil Harris