IT is so sad when your schoolboy hero passes on, but let's celebrate Bert Williams' life and share memories of his fabul ous career.
I was around 12 years old when I caught Bert's last season in 1957. His agility was of course legendary, but what I remember best was his ability to deal with crosses into his penalty area.
No punching or flapping at the ball by Bert, just soaring high to make a neat catch and the Wolves were on the attack again. I discovered on a Friday morning that the players lapped the Molineux pitch loosening up before the Saturday match.
The gate on Waterloo Road was left open so myself and several lads just sneaked in and watched our heroes close up. I distinctly remember Bert winning all the sprints, he was faster than the wingers Johnny Hancocks and Jimmy Mullen.
After the players changed and left the ground it was the perfect chance to get their autographs. I must have asked Bert numerous times for his autograph and he never ever refused.
He always played in an annual charity match at Wombourne Cricket Club drawing large crowds, including myself, enabling us to see our hero in a different sport. When I was 19 Mike and Bernie Winters (popular comedians of the day) had a charity all-stars football team. I played for my local Young Conservative Club against this team at Aldersley Stadium. Guess who was in goal for them? We were well beaten by all these ex-Wolves and ex-Albion players, who gave us a lesson in making the ball 'do the work'. It was a job to get the ball off them.
However, wait for it, I did score a goal against Bert! In fact I lived off the story for years boring my kids to death. I didn't tell them Bert would have been well into his 40s by then!
The last time I saw Bert was at Molineux before a match to honour the passing of our great Billy Wright. I spotted Bert with other Wolves players in the Waterloo stand. I thought I must take this chance to have a word. So, nervously, I approached the great man, but I needn't have worried.
He was so friendly and charming, I remember him saying the new stadium, whilst great, hadn't got the atmosphere of the old Molineux. When I left him he said "thank you so much for coming and having a chat with me". Bert you were an iconic Wolves player and a perfect gentleman.