Brian Dear: I hope its a cracker for Ron

Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United – Premier League – Molineux Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Almost sixty years on, Brian Dear will return to the scene of his First Division debut, quick to offer condolences and respect towards a Rolls Royce of a footballer who was numbered amongst the opposition.

Football lost one of its greats with the passing of Ron Flowers earlier this week. During fifteen years at Molineux, he made 467 appearances for Wolves, including on August 29, 1962, when a fresh-faced Dear began his own career at first-team level.

“Wolves had a terrific side and Ron was their star,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

“I remember the step-up in class from playing reserve team matches in the Football Combination. And with somewhere in the region of 40,000 people inside the ground, the atmosphere was electric.

“Playing in such an arena alongside so many great footballers was a dream come true.

“We had some great players of our own. Lawrie Leslie in goal, Martin Peters, Johnny Byre and a young Bobby Moore. We managed to get a goalless draw which was a decent result against Wolves at their place. It’s incredible to think it was all so long ago.”

The team line-ups that afternoon were as follows;

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Fred Davies, David Woodfield, Bobby Thomson, George Showell, Ron Flowers, Freddie Goodwin, Terence Wharton, Jimmy Murray, Alan Hinton, Chris Crowe, Ted Farmer

West Ham United: Lawrie Leslie, Bobby Moore, Jack Burkett, Joe Kirkup, Ken Brown, Alan Sealey, Martin Peters, Ian Crawford, Brian Dear, Phil Woosnam, Johnny Byrne

West Ham finished that winter-affected campaign in twelfth place, eight points behind Wolves in fifth: “All these years on, it’s us aiming at the top six. Football doesn’t stay the same forever,” Dear added.

Indeed, West Ham head to the Black Country looking to extend their unbeaten Premier League sequence to five matches: “I’m hoping we haven’t lost momentum following the international break,” the former frontman said.

“It’s sometimes difficult to predict what shape the players will be in when they return from international duty. But in the Premier League, every club seems to have a few away. We seem to have dealt with everything reasonably well so far. This shouldn’t be any different.

“Wolves have improved hugely after a poor start and they will be keen to do it for Ron. Adama Traore has troubled us in the past, but he seems to be featuring less at the moment due to his stalling contract talks. That could be a bonus for us, although they have so many good players. I think they’ll finish in the top ten.

“But once again, we have to make it about us. We don’t fear anyone these days. The Liverpool and Manchester City matches provided ample proof of that.

“We have plenty of pace, quality and hunger. Besides this, this is another game we must target for three points. I think we have too much for them at the moment. I hope the two sides will put on a show for Ron. But I believe with the likes of Antonio, Bowen and Benrahma we have enough firepower to take all three points and remain in touch with the leaders.”

Brian Dear’s prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 West Ham United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]