The saying “Love at first sight” is commonplace within all walks of life. It might be a partner, or a pet, or maybe even a football team. Especially a football team. But that was not the case for me.
In fact, I can’t say I was “bitten” by the Wolves much at all as an infant. I can’t remember the first game that I ever went to at the Molineux or the sensation of walking out of the concourse and seeing the famous old ground for the first time. Instead, my first vivid memories of football were being amazed by Gianfranco Zola as he conjoured up magic week after week for Chelsea in the late nineties.
My first proper memory of Wolves is one that is probably the most memorable amongst fans of a certain age: the Play-Off final victory over Sheffield United at the Millenium Stadium in 2003. My overriding memory of the day was my Dad queuing up overnight outside Molineux in vain for a ticket, in the days before you could buy online in seconds. So we had to make do with the sofa. After seeing us cruise to a 3-0 win, eight year old me thought that Wolves were about to make some waves in the Premier League. How wrong I was.
Since then, I’ve seen all sorts of amazing highs to crushing lows. From the incredible atmosphere as we beat United in the cup last year, to seeing an angry mob of fans storm the pitch after relegation to League One was all but confirmed after losing to Burnley. In my 10 years as a season ticket holder, I feel like I’ve experienced the full spectrum of emotions that a Wolves team can bring you.
It’s times like right now, where a football hasn’t been kicked in anger for almost two months, that you realise how much things like this silly little game can actually mean to you. And how I’d happily welcome all of the daft things that annoy me at every single game. The big bloke next to me in the Steve Bull who can’t go 30 seconds without elbowing me. Having to get in the queue at the turnstiles half an hour before kick off so as not to miss the start of the game. The post-match traffic leading out of town that seem to go on for ever. I would happily take it all back.
Being a Wolves fan has taken me to all sorts of places. From Wembley to Barcelona…. to Bolton with some of my best mates. I can’t wait to see where else I end up when normality is resumed.