(taken from 2001 Annual)
One of the greatest losses to the sporting world was the passing of former Wolves player,manager, and England Captain, Stan Cullis in 2001 at the age of 84 years.
To say that he was a giant amongst men is possibly an understatement, when you consider what he achieved as a player (the youngest to captain England, at the age of 22, in 1939), and as a mangaer, at the helm of the best club side in the country during the 1950's.
But it wasn't just the star players of the time who captured his interest. What probably set him apart, in fact, was his affinity with the younger players who he carefully groomed to meet the high standards demanded at Molineux.
A letter and photograph were sent into the Bugle after the passing of Stan from one of his young charges, who unfortunately never made the first team but was nevertheless once called on by Mr. Cullis, in a taxi, to take hime to a reserve game on a christmas morning over 60 years ago.
The letter went as follows:
It was with regret and sadness that l heard of the recent death of Stan Cullis the former manager of Wolves. I have some memories of when he was at his greatest at wolverhampton Wonderers.
I was signed on amateur forms at 16 years old in 1948, together with many other promising youngsters, and Mr cullis was intensly proud of all of us.
I can recall Mr Cullis attending a pre-season practise match of youngsters. some established players and some trialists. Quite unannounced Mr. Cullis stepped on to the pitch, stopped the match and proceeded to lecture a young player who had rolled down his stockings, together with his shirt outside his shorts. Mr Cullis made him tuck his shirt inside his shorts, handed him what we called "tie-ups", told him to replace his shin pads, pull up his stockings and start looking like a Wolves player and not a rag-a-muffin.
On Christmas morning 1950 my mother woke me to tell me that a gentleman from Wolverhampton Wanderers was at the door waiting in a taxi and to get dressed as quickly as possible as the gentleman had said l could have breakfast and a cup of tea at ther ground.
The gentleman in the taxi was Mr. Cullis. On the way to the Molineux he asked me about my job and generally put me at ease.
He also told me that Dennis Parsons had replaced Bert Williams in a first team away fixture and with no other player available the directors suggested putting Sammy Smythe in goal. Mr Cullis said "Why? when l've got another goalkeeper, l'll go and fetch him."
The ground was frozen like concrete with about half an inch of snow on top. However being Christmas morning the whiskey bottle was going the rounds in the dressing room.
I was laden down with two jerseys, elbow pads, knee pads and track suit bottoms and half a cup of whiskey inside. I don't think that l had ever drunk whiskey before in my life.
I had an own goal scored against me in the first few minutes.
Sheffield United stiffs were really up for it, Wolves reserves would be a good scalp to take back home.
We lost 3-2, it was a pretty awful morning but the best Christmas present of my life.