Ed Marshall looks back at his time supporting Wolves and his fondest memories supporting the club.
I recorded an episode of ‘Stories from the Pack’ for the Fancast towards the end of last year, ticking off something from the bucket list. It was recorded on the back of this blog you are now reading… this is a small part of why Wolves are my team.
Hands up if you, over your time in Wolves fandom have ever asked yourself that question? Really? Why did I choose Wolves? Or why did I let Wolves choose me?
Hopefully it’s not just me, hand in the air like an idiot in front of this computer screen right now.
Growing up with one half of my family as Wolves (Mom’s side) and the other Albion (Dad’s side). Things could have been very different, and I’d have been writing a blog for another, much inferior, podcast/fancast group.
It was an inherited thing; it was, but it wasn’t just that. It was the look of the team and the feel of club. We had Bully and we had an amazing ground, in the city centre, that was weirdly orange and through a subway to get to. The colours on a match day. As a kid it just takes you. I brought into the ‘sleeping giant’ thing, my Dad (and Mom to be fair) had told me about the history of the club and the traditions.
It would have been easy to follow the crowd at school, choose Man United or even ‘that lot’…But I’d made my choice, like it or lump it, the decision was made!
We didn’t have loads of money growing up, so going to games was few and far between for most of my pre-teens. But every time I went it felt so special. Quickly the affinity to sitting (standing) in the South Bank grew and I would refuse to sit (stand) anywhere else.
As soon as I had a part-time job all my money went on going to games, I even had a part-time job at West Brom library, where my shift finished on a Saturday, 1pm. I’d jump on a bus with my Wolves shirt underneath my jumper straight to the ground.
The Molineux was just the best day out for me. Hearing Jeff Beck’s classic kicking in even now, as I write this, just thinking about it, makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
My first game(s)
My first actual game was Albion v Wolves in 1989, in the Albion end. I remember pretty much nothing, other than my legs ached standing and I didn’t understand why my Mom (the Wolves fan) was pretending to be unhappy when Bully popped in the winner or an equaliser. (As a disclaimer I have not checked this, this is my memory and I am hoping this is what happened. This is how I remember it and I like it that way. No spoilers!)
Clearly at the age of 4/5 I’d chosen the path and it was paved in Old Gold.
The first game I remember properly is 1993, opening game, 3-1 sitting in the John Ireland with my parents. Bully scored two and we won. I was brought my first Wolves shirt that day too. A big day all round. I came home and wrote a match report for my Dad to read, like this blog, it was likely bang average at best.
The Play-Off Final 2003 has been talked about to death and I’d happily talk or write about that game, but it’s been done. Reach out if you want to reminisce at another time. It also coincides with my wedding anniversary, so I have two reasons to never forget the date…. I also got my tickets from Jez Moxey himself!
Listen to my episode of ‘Stories from the Pack’ with Hoops for the full story, but it involves a credit card, a phone call and ASDA.
I’ve chosen two games as memorable ones.
My first away day, another Black Country Derby, this time in the Wolves end at the Hawthorns. Me and my parents travelled on the train up from Rowley to The Hawthorns with it rammed with Albion fans. We walk from the station and say bye to my Dad who had a free ticket from a mate at work in with his lot. Me and Mom peel away and walk to the away end, with a bloke in a Wolves top shouting ‘bringing him up the right way’ to my Mom as he clocked, I’d chosen Wolves.
Iwan Roberts bangs in a hat-trick, I sing my first swear word, hoping my mom didn’t clock it and we had the best train ride home ever! What a day! I was beaming all the way home and all week at school, bragging rights galore.
The second game was the Newcastle FA Cup game in 2003. That game seemed to be the turning point for that team and that season. It was a game that had everything, goal-line clearances, penalties, screamers and the classic ‘upset’.
It was freezing cold and teenage me had stubbornly said I was not going to wear anything apart from jeans and my Wolves top. I stood in the corner of the South Bank and pretended I wasn’t frozen to the core. Fact of the matter is, if the game had been boring and there was nothing to jump and shout about, I may have developed hyperthermia.
That game also started the long, deep-seated hatred for a certain Mr Bellamy. The less said or written about him the better.
I follow the team passionately still, but as times change and circumstances change the days of having a season ticket and all my money going on the team are long gone. I am very much an armchair fan and ‘expert’ but still so very proud of the club, my club.
Following through the ups and downs is not easy, but nothing we love is, is it?
I’ve already indoctrinated my little boy; he had no choice. Safe to say, I am glad my Dad didn’t do that with me…
Wolves Ay We, Wolves Ay I