Mike Stowell. Bloody Mike Stowell.
He ain’t doing too bad now, is he?
Once a shot stopper for Wolves, now has a Premier League winners medal to his name (I presume so as a coach).
The former no.1 keeper between the sticks during the glorious decade that is the 90’s is doing well post Wolves life.
Although as pointed out on the podcast it is easy to name your ‘Wolves GOAT’ as God, aka Bully, this man was my greatest of all time.
After joining Wolves on loan in the spring of 1989, Mike Stowell turned into a permanent signing under Graham Turner and never looked back.
Notching up 385 appearances in goal for the gold and black, Mike Stowell is now probably, to my calculations, in the top 20 players for most appearances at the club.
I would sit here and write about my fond memories for Mike. Stowell.
His shot stopping heroics. How he made a triple close range save and scored an overhead kick in the last minute.
How he nearly scored a last minute goal after coming up from a corner against Portsmouth to prevent a defeat, with the first incarnation of ‘Limbs’ being created on that 90’s afternoon.
But, I can’t.
Now, that’s not because he had no standout performances back in the day, no.
Are you telling me that as a 8-10 year old you remember the tactical nouse of a goalkeeper, his body position and his kicking ability compared to others in the league?
No, you remember that goalkeeper who was very good at being a goalkeeper.
This man was my other sporting idol as a kid.
So instead, here are a couple of personal memories of Mike Stowell.
That Green Gentleman
I loved, and I mean LOVED that green goalkeeper kit with the three black stripes on either shoulder.
Don’t get me wrong, the different colour variants of the wolf head version were pretty special as well. But because this was probably my first goalkeeper top, it sticks out.
It was also probably because of the phase I went through where I wanted to be a keeper rather than the right winger I had always tried to convince myself I was.
In the back garden, between the mini goalposts I had, dragging my dad out in between the endless tasks he had at home to try and score past me for a few minutes.
Fair play to my dad. Kicking very light shots at goal for me to save when he could have probably leathered each one and put my keeping skills to complete shame.
This green and black goalkeeper top, with the Wolverhampton crest emblazoned in the middle (remember that strange period) is sacred.
I remember wearing the same green top to school for an ‘environmental day’, where everyone had to wear something green and learn about the planet.
So, of course, It gave me an excuse to wear my Mike Stowell goalkeeper top with pride.
I even made the front page of the local newspaper with how green it was.
I say local paper. It was the local-local paper that no-one read. You tell your parents you’re on the front cover of the local paper and then their faces drop when you tell them which paper it is.
Kick ups in the summer sun
So once out with the family on a hot summers day, we go to Bridgnorth.
We park up on the field, get a picnic and deck chairs out, have a trip into high town and then back to laze about in the sun, or, as my only past time was as a kid, kick a ball about in different directions.
Then my dad pops over to me, as I attempt my 42nd round of kicks ups and says, “Look who’s just parked up opposite”. And out comes Mike Stowell and family.
They also get the deck chairs out but start up a BBQ in the baking weather.
Nervous that one of my favourite Wolves players is yards away from me. my brain thinks there are only two options.
One, wait a few minutes for him to settle down in the sun, go over and politely ask for an autograph.
Two, and the most farfetched idea, start kicking the ball about with new found flair and skill in the hope that he spots this and decides he wants to join me for a kick about.
Of course my 9 year old brain thought the latter was the logical choice here.
So there I go with keep me up’s the likes the world has never seen, but sadly my full proof plan does not work and Stowell and family continue to enjoy there Sunday afternoon in the sun.
A missed opportunity to meet one of my Wolves heroes. Will I ever get the chance to have that kick around with him?
Mike Stowell. Wolves GOAT
Mike Stowell was a pinnacle of Wolves players at that time. Hard working, long standing and great characters on and off the field, as displayed in these old pre-match interviews.
His goalkeeping heroics, followed by his different array of goalkeeping tops over years made me want to follow him in his footsteps and also became a great keeper.
He was a keeper synonymous with growing up for my generation. Such a great keeper it took a few years before any more turned up.
And then we churned them out like buses with Matt Murray, Wayne Hennessey, Carl Ikeme and Rui Patricio joining the great keeper ranks.
Mike Stowell. A salute to you sir. My Wolves G.O.A.T.