The Morgan is a lifetime follower of both Wolves & England.
I commonly steal the line from Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and in three short words summarize the experience- ‘It’s been emotional.’
Our recent World Cup calamity- the wounds still so sore they still pour puss- is tantamount to a near lifetime of expectancy and ultimate disappointment.
Behind the Bully Factor, 1990 holds the only true belief that I was about to watch an England side lift a major trophy for the first time in my young life. My Dad has always said that if we had thrown on Bully in extra time he would have terrified the life out of them and Chris Waddle would never have even had the opportunity to become the first human to send a ball from Italy back to England without the use of a plane or boat.
In New York, for our opening game, I was the only chap in a white shirt amongst a hundred. I was ever so amused when we got our first booking- the bar went up as if they had just won the bloody thing. My smirk was subsequently removed perhaps a half hour later, and still to come by the final whistle- a grimace that turned into gritted teeth and despair.
At the office before leaving for the Algeria game, I offered anyone a bet ($500) that we would win. The best counter offer I got was a cup of coffee, thankfully. That was a buck happily spent the next morning as I shuffled in and ran off to stare at my computer (it said hello).
The Slovenia game was 90 minutes or more of disdain. What came next was beyond painful. So, to the point. The best comparison is to compare all our national failings with our (Wolves) 15 or so years in the abyss that was the old Second Division.
Those days still send a shiver down the spine.
One example that jumps to mind is beating Newcastle 3-2 in that thrilling F.A Cup game – another less thrilling is losing at Sheffield United – doesn’t matter which occasion – just pick one and you get the feeling.
There were some truly miserable days- the realization that Turner had taken us as far as he could and was better off sitting at home patting Hooch.
The Colin Lee days, bloody good caretaker manager wasn’t he? Graham Taylor? People can say what they want, that we fired him too early? That he was really taking the club in the right direction? I was a season ticket holder through his reign and stand by my assertion to this very day that if he had not gone when he did we would have been relegated that season.
Nice work on the youth side of things and all that, but that’s not gonna cut the mustard when you are playing third division football again. The less said about Glenn Hoddle the better, as for Dave Jones, I don’t think any of us could ever find a bad word to say about the fella. Only the club was to blame for our relegation after he had pulled the strings like a magician.
The Golden Years for me were of course the Bully days. The Bully era. It was not a one man job but I would challenge anyone to show me anything closer.
I’ll never forget week after week, me and my Dad sat in the Family Enclosure with our three pound tickets, a few pints (for him and my Uncle at the Clarendon before the game whilst me and my cousin Bungle caused mischief outside)- prior to watching the Bull plunder his hundred goals in two seasons.
The trip to Wembley- 50,000 or more Wolves fans, the lifting of a trophy- The England Debut- the ball bouncing of Bully’s back and me and my Dad jumping off the sofa as he took back his right foot knowing full well he was near enough about the pull the net clean off the posts before he had even connected.
I remember that day so vividly- The Fash up front (Emile’s hero?)- John was pulling up and I was jumping up and down with excitement- my Dad telling me off, saying it was wrong to wish an injury on a player, but I wished it with all my will, and know my Dad was too, and then came the Bull.
The glory days- (The Rise of The Bull aside, in Roy of The Rovers fashion, we will never see that repeated again) were draped in fourth and third division flags.
The Iwan Roberts hat trick at The Hawthorns (a Roberts hat trick improbable in itself, anywhere was one thing) stands out as a beautiful thing, but aside from our glorious 3-0 thrashing of Sheffield (always a beautiful thing) in that rather large stadium oddly built in the Village of Wales finally cementing our return to the promised land, the fonder memories over the course of fifteen years proved few and far between.
So, easing towards a conclusion of point…make sure you read part two!
Written by New York City Wolf
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