For the first time in nearly four decades, four Wolves favourites from the 1970s and 80s will appear together tomorrow night (Thursday).
Manager John Barnwell and players Kenny Hibbitt, Willie Carr and John Richards will appear live on stage at The Cleveland Arms, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton in a show called ‘A Kick up the 80s’.
They will be interviewed by 2003 play-off hero Matt Murray in what promises to be a special night – it’s believed to be the first time all four have been together since Barnwell left the club in January 1982. George Berry was originally due to appear but has been forced to withdraw due to business commitments.
Barnwell is one of the club’s most popular managers after leading them to League Cup glory, two FA Cup semi-finals, a sixth-placed finish in the top flight, plus signing high profile duo Andy Gray and Emlyn Hughes.
It’s a stunning line-up for Molineux fans – and it’s no surprise all VIP tickets have gone but standard tickets are still on sale. Event organiser Will Adamson said: “It’s another wonderful line-up and a great way for Wolves fans to get in the mood for the new season.
“It’s a shame George Berry cannot be with us but this still leaves four great characters to relive their time at the club, which was eventful to say the least.”
Richards said: “I enjoy occasions like this and I’m looking forward to catching up with my old team mates and, of course, John Barnwell.”
There was never a dull moment when Barnwell was in charge. The colourful Geordie put Wolves back on the map and they were rarely out of the headlines. In the space of a whirlwind few months in 1979, Barnwell bought Liverpool captain Emlyn Hughes, sold Steve Daley to Manchester City for a British record £1.41m then bought Aston Villa’s Andy Gray for £1.469m – another British record, all after almost losing his life in a car crash. ‘Barney’ also tried to sign high profile players such as Peter Reid, Michel Platini, Polish star Zbigniew Boniek and Holland World Cup favourite Rene Van Der Kerkoff.
Hibbitt, Carr and Richards are three of Wolves’ most popular and most successful players from that period. All three won League Cup winners medals in 1980 and Second Division title winners medals from 1977. Midfielder Hibbitt and prolific striker Richards played in the 1972 UEFA Cup final – the club’s only European final – and are two of only three players with Derek Parkin to have played in all four of the club’s UEFA Cup campaigns.
Only Parkin has played more times in gold and black than Hibbitt’s total of 574 games, which included 114 goals from midfield, and he is recognised as one of the country’s best uncapped players. Richards was the club’s record scorer with 194 in 486 appearances until Steve Bull broke his record in 1992. Richards, who was capped once by England, topped the club’s League scoring charts on six occasions and was voted Young Player of the Year and the country’s top scorer in 1972-73 with 36 goals. Carr was already a Scotland international when he joined Wolves for a club record £100,000 from Coventry City in March 1975. Enjoying a scoring debut in a memorable 7-1 thrashing of Chelsea, midfielder Carr played 289 games in gold and black, scoring 26 goals, and achieved national fame for his ‘donkey kick’ free kick routine with Ernie Hunt in 1970.
Tickets are available from the Stowheath Lane venue or by visiting clevelandarms.com or call 01902 451021.
Wolvesbite.com will be there to bring you reaction from the stars.