Early 2009 we received the devastating news that Dad not only had cancer, it was terminal and he could have as little as three months left.
This was the man that had first taken me to Molineux in the late ’60s, sat me on the wall surrounding the pitch and later made me a small wooden box to stand on for a better view. The man that had taken me to Wembley in 74 and again in 1980. The man who told me all about Cullis, Wright, Mullen, Williams, Broadbent etc.The man who made sure gold and black blood ran through my veins.
First few weeks he never complained but went downhill fast. We needed something to lift his spirits and give him some interest. More out of desperation than anything we got him a laptop and he started to trace his family tree. I decided to launch a website concentrating on Wolves Memorabilia, the idea being that I would update it every day and hopefully give dad something to look forward to.
A George Elokobi shirt, complete with holes and a vicks vapour rub stain was the first item in the collection (£50 off eBay) and was quickly followed by anything and everything I could lay my hands on. The day I acquired a photo of the 1949 FA Cup final winners, signed by Bert Williams and dedicated to dad with a short message wishing him all the best, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Loved Bert did dad.
The collection became an obsession and grew quickly. Every spare penny we had going on shirts etc. Luckily I have a very supportive wife because it meant no holidays or luxuries. Dad was proud of my collection and knew I would like to do a book someday. He refused expensive operations or treatment that could have kept him alive a few months longer, insisting that the money would be better spent on people who still had a long life to live. “I have had mine and enjoyed it,” he told us.
We finally lost him on July 28th 2012, a full three years longer than he was given in 2009. I wrote this just before Christmas 2015 for the dedication of my first book and I cried. Six years and three books later, with well over £125k raised for charity (Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Cure Leukaemia & the NHS) I have launched this site, not only to showcase my personal collection but to keep my dad’s memory alive. I miss you dad and hope I have done you and our beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers proud and yes the tears are flowing once again……
In loving memory of John Plant
4th January 1930 – 28th July 2012