What can you say about John Richards that hasn’t already been said? Well plenty!! John or should I call him Gentleman John is possibly the best friend that the DDCWWFCSC has ever had. He has done many things to help us over the years, and has been a fantastic ambassador for the DDCWWFCSC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, and simply football in general.
As I remember we’d approached John in writing to following on from Mike Bailey, he accepted our invitation and somehow the arrangement was made for him to ring straight after Monty Python one Monday evening. He rang on time and I remember my Mother racing to the phone so she could speak with him, but she was very excited as when John introduced himself she was heard to say ‘Pleased to meet you’.
John was during this period the Wolves fans number one idol, and scored some 194 goals for Wolves nearly all of which were in the top flight
Despite this strange introduction John was happy to become our second Honorary Life Member and attended our second Annual Dinner in Barby village Hall, bringing with him Kenny Hibbitt who was the first winner of the DDCWWFCSCPOTY and received the Richard Meacock Trophy or as it was better known the ‘Yellow Dog’.
John was during this period the Wolves fans number one idol, and scored some 194 goals for Wolves nearly all of which were in the top flight. Criminally he only got 1 full England Cap and even the Sir Alf Ramsay played him out of position on the wing. Throughout his playing career at Molineux he assisted in getting the Player of the Year along to the DDCWWFCSCADD as well as other players from that era too.
After leaving Wolves John played for a very short period for Derby County then went to play in Portugal for the Madiera side Setubal. Once retired from the game he went into local government with Cannock District Council and had an office next to one of our members Ian Tennant. But several years later the call came once again from Molineux from Sir Jack Heyward asking John if he’d like to succeed Billy Wright as the football director on the board.
John was thrilled to accept, and was still very excited when he called Coxy with the news. But he was quickly brought back down to earth by Coxy who reminded him that he still reported to Coxy as Chairman of the DDCWWFCSC before he reported to Sir Jack! John embraced his new role on the board and got involved in other schemes relating to the greater world of football with the FA. He was then promoted within Molineux to the role of Managing Director a position he was equally excited about.
During this time he remained a great friend and supporter of the DDCWWFCSC ensuring that the Dinner was always well supported by players past and present. He continues to promote our cause and is always pleased to help or offer support and advice. Over the years he has brought many former colleagues along to our dinners, he knows many members personally, and over the years I have been asked many times ‘how does he remember my name?’ but that’s John.
His wife Pam too deserves a mention as she too has attended many dinners over the years always with good grace and charm, even if Coxy insists on a dance! She likes to recall how our President Richard Meacock used to try to entice her into his bedroom to see his trainset!! Both are devoted parents, and now grandparents spending time each year down under in Australia where one of their daughters and family are based.
In November 2009 another honor was bestowed upon John when it was announced that he was to be inducted into the Wolves Hall of Fame. In true JR style he said to Coxy that “It really is a great privilege to be nominated and invited to be in the Wolves Hall of Fame – almost on a par with my DDCWWFCSC Honorary membership.” Joking aside I know how much this honor means to John and he will take a great deal of pride from this nomination.