Back where it all began…


Bill Shaw (left) prepares to give orders to some passing underling ‘Don’t tell him, Roper!’ – Image kindly supplied by David Evans.

You’ll all know how much I like running the local football reports here, and it’s given me a great deal of concern in the last couple of months that Bill Shaw, who’s written so many wonderfully frank match write-ups for the blog (and of course some other great pieces) has not been in the best of health.

Bill is thankfully on the mend, although it’s a slow process, and his shoes have been wonderfully filled by the excellent Simon Evans who’s been submitting great reports. With Bill on the mend, those still craving a fix might like to read this piece Bill sent me about his earliest match reporting…

Thanks to Bill, and I, along with all the readers, wish him a speedy recovery. Cheers old chap.

Bill Shaw wrote:

Hiya Bob,

It’s well documented that the second football report I ever wrote was in the 2000-2001 season, when I deputised for then Wood Chairman Scott Dew who was going on holiday. I made such a good job of it of course that he never took the job back.

As I said it was my second report, the first had come more than 40 years earlier on February 22nd 1957, when I had written as a 12 year old about a third round FA Cup match I had seen a month earlier at Molineux. Looking through a box recently I came across some old school books and in one I found my first ever report. 

Wolves v Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic

This match had everything. Right from the start Bournemouth were on top. A narrow escape for Wolves when with Williams beaten, Stuart cleared off the goal line. Seven minutes had passed since the kick off, when Cutler the Bournemouth Outside Right missed a wonderful chance of putting his team one up. He missed a cross from Norris it went right in front of him and he broke the upright with his kick, (remember 60 years ago the goal posts were wood) getting caught in the net. He was however helped out by Stuart. After repairs the game continued. Wolves then came more into the picture, when Hooper dashed away down the right wing and put across a grand centre that was brilliantly taken by Godwin. From then for about 20 minutes the game deteriorated, (I was always a good ‘spellist’) into a bout of scrappy midfield play. ‘Then came a goal’ Stiffle came away down the left wing and put the ball to Cutler, who swerved round Stuart and Williams and placed the ball into the empty net. Bournemouth were one goal up and their supporters went crazy. Bournemouth domineered (interesting choice there) the last ten minutes of the first half and ran off worthy winners.

After half time it was all Wolves, with Hooper playing a great game on the right wing. But try as they would they could not score, the brilliant Godwin who was in goal made some impossible saves.

The Final score Wolves 0 v Bournemouth 1.

The result of course today would be expected but in 1957 Wolves were riding high in the old first division together with Tottenham and Manchester United, whilst Bournemouth were then a lowly third division side, the result was probably a bigger shock than last seasons Chelsea defeat to Bradford.

Any road up folks, that’s how it all started, I only had another five months at Brownhills Central before as a thirteen year old I passed to go to the Wednesbury County Technical School. Almost two years of absolute hell and for the good it did me I might just as well have left school in July 1957, because the time spent at Wednesbury was a complete waste of time and I hated 95% of it.

We are told however that nothing is ever completely wasted, it all goes to building your character, so now you all know why I’m such a belligerent, cantankerous old sod.

Bill Shaw.



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1 Response to Back where it all began…

  1. David Evans says:

    hi Bob
    I wouldn’t say that Bill is old

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