Wolves are continuing their efforts to reach out to vulnerable supporters during the coronavirus – with former captain Paul Butler joining the ranks today.
Butler, who captained Wolves to the Premier League for the first time in 2002-03, has joined Matt Murray, Steve Bull, John Richards, Kenny Hibbitt, Steve Daley, Willie Carr, Phil Parkes and Geoff Palmer telephoning fans through the ‘Wolves at Home’ campaign launched last week, through the club and Wolves Foundation.
Following the announcement to postpone the Premier League until April 30 at the earliest, the scheme is aimed at checking in and keeping in touch with supporters, particularly those vulnerable, isolated and at risk, during this unprecedented period.
Wolves and the team of former players will be making over 2,000 calls during the next two weeks, starting with the club’s oldest season ticket holders.
In the first week alone, the former players have been in touch with one 100-year-old supporter, 31 aged 90 and above, and just under 400 of those who are 80 this year or older.
There are more than 1,000 of 75 and above, and all have or will be called by a Wolves favourite. Some 800 calls have been made so far.
Players are given 10 names per day to call. They are asking how supporters are, if they’re being cared for and if a follow-up call is required for any professional help.
Former players will use a combination of FaceTime and normal calls to reach fans. As well as having a good chat about the old days, each supporter will be offered the opportunity of assistance with groceries and prescription collections if they’re without friends and family support, given the advice to self-isolate.
In addition, schoolchildren have written letters to supporters suffering with dementia who attend the weekly Molineux Memories sessions which have had to be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.
John Richards said: “We understand how our older supporters could be feeling very lonely at this time – no football, worrying news stories and self-isolation is making all of us anxious. I’m very happy to get behind the Wolves at Home scheme and I’m really looking forward to reliving some fun tales with fans over the coming days.”
Steve Bull added: “We all need to stick together during this difficult time. Checking in on our oldest fans is really important. I’d love to pop round in person for a cuppa, but this is the next best option.”
Will Clowes, head of Wolves Foundation said: “We will be making over 2,000 calls during the next couple of weeks and I’d like to thank all of the former players for getting involved.
“This is just one of a range of relief and support initiatives that the club and Foundation have launched under the Wolves at Home initiative. All Foundation projects have ceased delivery, but the dedicated team of staff will be continuing to provide services digitally and with personal connections.”