I went to my first game at Molineux in 1963. Admittedly, as a toddler, I didn’t know much about it but something was conceived within that birthed and grew as the years went by.
My earliest memories are back in the late sixties and into the seventies. The Bill McGarry years, when I saw numerous European games, including a UEFA Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur.
There is no-one more optimistic than a football fan in the first week of August. Unfortunately for the majority, that positivity has all but evaporated come the autumn. As the September temperatures begin to fall, likewise the hopes and aspirations for the season ahead also cool.
There has always been an above average expectancy among Wolves fans and I believe that is due to the unprecedented successes of the fifties. It’s never gone away and subconsciously has been handed down from one generation to another.
However, sadly, the heights of that glorious decade in Wolves’ history have never been repeated.
I was there at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 when a 3-0 victory against Sheffield United saw the side back in the top flight after an absence of nineteen years. I still have the front page of the Express and Star in my memorabilia collection. Sadly though, like the fifteen years that have passed since, my newspaper copy has become faded.
Until now that is. When Fosun were first announced as owners, I thought this can go either way. The football world is littered with clubs who have seen financial interventions start out as a firework launched into the November sky in a blaze of colour, only to fall to earth moments later in darkness.
On the other hand you have the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. I remember when both were nothing more than average sides. Money in itself doesn’t guarantee anything, but invested wisely does, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen with those two.
Therefore, watching on very closely at what was happening at Molineux, I saw something stirring that genuinely had me excited. I sensed, for the first time in a period of watching Wolves in six decades, that something very special indeed was about to happen.
At the start of last season (2017/2018) I said to numerous people that Wolves would convincingly win the Championship, and that on promotion they would be in the same pool of players regarding signings as the two aforementioned teams, plus the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
Needless to say, most people laughed at me. However, as a level-headed follower of football, I perceived something that I had never seen before. As far as I was concerned, without trying to sound dramatic, the glory days were returning to Molineux.
Today, the rubber has hit the road. What will the season ahead have in store for Wolves? The rise so far has been meteoric and although I believe it will continue in the right direction, the chart will show a much slower rate of upward movement.
Nevertheless though it will be growth, and for me, although 2018/2019 is going to be a key season, it’s the one after that is the crucial one. It’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
However, as much as being a Wolves fan is akin to riding a rollercoaster, just as there are sharp falls there are also steep climbs as well. Fasten your seat belts, fellow Wolfies. The journey has already begun but today, as the English Premier League kicks off, it really gets underway.