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Wolves V Burnley Sherpa Van Trophy Final Wembley Stadium in London on 29 May 1988

Discussion in '1980's' started by Still Proud, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Still Proud

    Still Proud Just doesn't shut up

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    I woke about 5.30pm full of excitement for the day Wolves were about to announce they were well and truly on their way back up after staring into the abyss on more than one occasion during the decade.

    This game marked the end of a remarkable season when we stormed to the 4th Division title and made history by becoming the first team to achieve the feat of winning all 4 Divisions.

    Weeks of planning were hampered the day before by a phone call from the coach company to let me know the Police had informed them no alcohol on the the coach. I'd bought 50 tickets, ordered the coach and had enough crates of alcohol stacked up for an army.

    So it was to the Prestwood Arms at 7.30pm for breakfast and to drink our way through the beer before we left. Needless to say the lads tucked into bacon eggs and draft lager before smuggling our contraband onto the charabang.

    First stop at the services on the M1 near Watford - crawling with coppers - somehow managed to blag a bin liner for those large industrial bins on wheels, filled it with empties and dumped it in the boot of a Burnley coach without the long arm of the law twigging.

    Stopped off at St Albans and had a really pleasant lunch-time where we got on great guns with the locals and promised to return for a victory party.

    Then to Wembley - I don't know about others but this certainly had more of a magical feel about the place over the more modern stadium.

    What an atmosphere, felt like half of Wolverhampton was there. Impressed by the huge Burnley banner unfurled at the opposite end as we stood in our spot behind the goal. The hair's still stand up on the back of my neck when I think of Graham Turner leading the boys out.

    My first memory was thinking how well Paul Comstive was playing and then seeing Robbies corner eventually nodded in by a glancing header from Mutchy. The place went wild.

    I still feel sorry for poor old Micky Holmes, still one of my favourite Wolves players, crawling off the pitch on all fours before half time.

    The game was sealed by a trademark Dennison free kick. We all knew it was going in even before he took it.

    I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear or two of joy during the last 10 minutes as after all we'd been through we'd done the double, our centre-forward had bagged over 50 goals and we were well and truly on the way back. There was such a togetherness between the players and us fans back then.

    Final whistle came and celebrations marked the end of probably my best season ever watching the Wolves for so many reasons. Ally lifted the trophy that is often derided by many but for me it has a special place in our history.

    So off we headed to the coach, but somehow I ended up on a Burnley Executive Coach sharing a bottle of Champers with some suits before finding the right one.

    Back to St Albans and the drink was flowing well (pints of white wine at one stage!!) when some of the locals came in and told us a few of the younger lads who were with us had been jumped. Blue lights soon arrived and we were put on a coach and told to get out of town.

    There were a few lads missing so I had to go and find them with a couple of coppers in tow. We marched into a KFC full of the local lads and I stunned the place into silence when I stood on a table and shouted in my best Black Country brogue "Oi Yow lot weem gewing, cum on" to the four paying for their bargain bucket at the till. I wouldn't have been so brave without my minders standing next to me!!

    Final stop off on the M1 services turned into a food fight, police arrived, coach driver had left us there, I asked the Chief Inspector for a lift back to Wolvo and before I knew it he and I were heading northbound on the motorway in the front seat of his Rover looking for the coach.

    We found it about a mile out on the hard shoulder as we approached over broken glass it was obvious that something had happened. It turns out that some of the boys who'd stayed on the coach had the driver round the neck and he only stopped when one of the others kicked a side window out - I hasten to add this was not typical behaviour.

    Nice policeman gave him a rollicking, and made him reverse back to the services, he also gave me his card and the perfect alibi should I have trouble with the coach company.

    We finally arrived home the next day at about 4.30am, was up the pub for 12.00pm and followed the victory parade all the way up the Tettenhall Road to round off a fantastic weekend and a superb season.

    A season that started at Scarborough but that's another story....
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  2. Beowulf

    Beowulf Senior Member

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    As is so often the case when attempting to recall football matches some years later, the more vivid and long-term memories are of the day as a whole, the eclectic activities and off-field exploits, rather than the more condensed ninety minutes of the match itself. Particularly memorable to me was the journey to and from London and, more to the point, the fellow Wolves fans who shared that journey – a motley collection of so-called beer monsters, ‘nutters’ and slightly more staid types all gathered together from a certain pub on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. Our subsequent booze-fuelled journey was of the sort that is well-known to many football fans travelling independently to away matches throughout the land.

    The coach was organised by a well-known Wolverhampton ‘bouncer’ at that time and was organised with commendable precision: our early morning breakfasts were washed down throughout the coach trip with a seemingly continual supply of Banks’s finest and the odd whisky chaser for those with a more robust constitution. The effect of this was two-fold; our coach journey was regularly interrupted to allow for toilet stops, or rather the unappealing sight of upwards of fifty blokes urinating in unison on a motorway embankment, can in hand and a Benson and Hedges dangling nonchalantly from mouth. Secondly, and entirely predictably, the more beer that was drunk the livelier the coach became, songs grew more frequent and louder and the quaint tradition of ‘mooning’ was unleashed to all and sundry.

    Having staggered off the coach upon our arrival, we dispersed to various pubs dotted around Wembley to continue our pre-match libations before heading to the stadium. It was whilst outside the stadium that I first caught sight of Burnley fans there that day. There was frequent friendly banter between us and those in claret and blue. In fact, one of our lot, his slightly portly frame and beer-belly comically squeezed into a 1980 replica Wolves shirt, struck up a friendship with one group that resulted in our new-found Lancastrian friends sharing their ingeniously disguised bottle of spirits with us. Further fortified, we shook hands with our counterparts before both groups went their separate ways, us no further than Turnstile D Entrance 9 where our £5 ticket gained us entry into the old Empire Stadium.

    I recall the match relatively clearly and remember Andy Mutch’s opening goal and Robbie Dennison’s signature free-kick that sealed our win. Cue more wild celebrations. Throughout the match, though, I remember willing Bully to score a Wembley goal that would have provided a fitting reward to his remarkable season. Alas, it wasn’t to be but, as we all know, that wish was later realized for the three lions of England.

    Reconvening on Wembley’s concrete coach park we were all informed that one of our fellow travellers wouldn’t be travelling back with us as he was arrested before the match for headbutting a Burnley fan. This was none other than the bouncer who planned our trip with such admirable expertise. Having gone to all the considerable time and effort of organising the journey, booking a coach and an all-important liberal coach driver, supplying food and drink and pinpointing our pub stops, we couldn’t help but smile at the irony of him missing the entire game and post-match celebrations.

    Despite the Wolves win that clinched the 'Lower League Double', our journey back home was quite muted. I think the reason for this was a combination of the fatigue that sets in when, over the course of a day, too much energy has been expended and far too much alcohol consumed. However, this didn’t prevent us from making a final pub stop in an unknown Shire to further punish our respective livers. Matters took quite an interesting turn when a dozen or so Burnley fans then entered the pub. The more pugilistic-minded amongst our group positively bristled at such a sight and there was, I distinctly recall, much symbolic eye-contact between the two groups and an increasingly nervous landlord fearing a Wild West showdown in his otherwise sleepy pub. Somehow, things passed off peacefully and we headed back home to the bright lights of Wolverhampton for another quick drink and a period of warm reflection.

    It was a quiet end to an eventful day.
     
  3. Dudleywolf

    Dudleywolf Has a lot to say

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    The Sherpa van build-up started for us on the friday night in the Hatherton Arms by the Molineux, when we had our first pre-final party which went on into the early hours, followed by a second party in the goalpost on the saturday evening, which resulted in several people being worse for wear and sleeping on the premises overnight.
    On the Morning of the match I drove myself and 3 mates from Featherstone to the Goalpost which we entered at 7-30am to be greeted by a sea of bodies. The Hatherton were taking 2 coaches, one supposedly mainly women, which was the one myself and the missus were on. Several baccardi and cokes were imbied and we were off ! courtesy of crantocks coaches and the famous Herman ! We went straight to Wembley and most made their way into various pubs. We went straight to the ground and waited for the gates to open and bought cans off street sellers. The game was a sea of colour and a fairly comfortable win.
    After the game the 2 coaches went seperate ways, "The lads" coach tried to go A5 , whereas we went onto the M1 without too much trouble and as a result we were at our designated stop in Canley , Coventry at 9pm (we had found the club after the recent Mercantile tournement). The 2nd coach did not turn up until 10pm ! We left the club about 11pm and Rob, the gaffer of the goalpost (RIP) fell out with his missus and left her in Cov !
    We got back to the Goalpost for midnight and the party started ! It was wild , at one stage a good friend (who shall remain nameless) was playing the piano, stark naked ! to the tunes of Woolley Bully ! For some reason at 2pm I decided to go home, I was driving (not too bright) and the wife and 3 passengers were travelling back when we got as far as Strykers island, My one mate said why are we going home and I said, I don't know? so we turned round and went back!
    The crantock coach was parked outside as Herman the driver was inside peed-up, a hot dog stall had set-up and was doing a roaring trade. We eventually left at 5am, and on my return to our Cul-de-sac in Featherstone I planted a big Wolves flag in our front Garden.
    At 11am I popped up the red White & blue for a snifter and we later drove into Wolves for the parade, having a couple in the exchange before following the bus down into chapel ash and then a further party in the Goalie !
     

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