THE BHATTI’S, BANK LOANS AND BUST
The historic headlines throughout Wolves glorious history had read ‘IT’S OURS’ following the 1949 FA Cup Final victory over Leicester City. This was superseded in 1960 with ‘OURS AGAIN’ as they regained the FA Cup by triumphantly beating Blackburn Rovers.
Just 22 years later there would be a very different attention-grabbing caption:
‘WOLVES HAVE GONE BUST’.
This was the news no Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter wanted to read. This is the story behind the events of that headline.
“Jason,” came the fading Scottish accent as we met in the foyer of The Mount Hotel. “I’m a bit early, but I’ve brought my notes, it was a very long time ago.”
Scottish-born businessman Doug Hope was vice-chairman of Wolves between 1982 and 1986 during the ill-fated reign of the enigmatic Bhatti brothers. Doug had been a long-term friend of Wolves legend Derek Dougan, of which his affiliation with the club was borne. In all fairness to Doug at the time it became a thankless task and Wolves literally had two-hopes…and one was Doug.
At the age of 19, Doug worked for a company in Glasgow as a sales representative and they had a branch in Wolverhampton. Following being seconded to the West Midlands a career ensued in the used car business and subsequently property developing. Jammed into the middle was four highly interesting, yet troublesome, years at Wolves. Doug’s mother was born in Shrewsbury and her family were steeped in Wolves so he was indoctrinated into the Old Gold from a very early age. “I remember listening to the Wolves/Honved game on the radio in 1954,” he says. “Honved were 2-0 up and Wolves came out 3-2 winners. I never thought I would get to become a part of the history of the club.”
I had a morbid obsession with that era which is in deep contrast to the club of today and I felt compelled to arrange an interview with Doug after reading a fascinating insight into the events of 1982 in Johnny Phillips’ brilliant book ‘Bitten By Wolves’. Iwanted to hear the story for myself.
“Fascinating is one word for it,” says Doug. “It was a sad time really as the club were in dire straits. It had originally started when there was a conflict between the then manager John Barnwell and the chairman Harry Marshall. Harry believed there was a need to rebuild the old Molineux Street stand and John wanted to strengthen the team which is understandable.”
In 1979 the new John Ireland Stand was built at a cost of a reported £2.3million which was underpinned by a £500,000 down payment and propped up by a £1.8 million loan from Lloyds Bank. The project at the time involved the purchase and subsequent demolition in Molineux Street of over 70 houses. Interest rates during that era for borrowings were crippling and rose to as high as 11.2% in 1979 and peaked at over 16% in 1981. The Stand which would become mercilessly known as ‘Marshall’s Folly’ became a drain on the resources of the club and with its red seats and state-of-the-art executive facilities became a white elephant in amidst the rest of the decaying Molineux that never caught up.
I must point out that Harry Marshall had every best intention for the club and its future and his stadium was visionary. But with interest rates as they were, it always seemed likely to fail with such steep borrowings. Doug began: “I don’t think it was thought through properly. It was 30 yards from the pitch which killed the atmosphere and the thinking behind it was to move the pitch towards the stand when the Waterloo Road Stand was developed, which of course didn’t happen for years. The debt that the club incurred spiralled out of control and there became unrest within the club at the time. This then turned into a shareholders revolt. The major shareholder was Harry Marshall and there were probably another 150 shareholders including myself and Roger Hipkiss who had a handful of shares. It came to the point where Roger tried to do something to get Harry out of the club. Roger arranged a meeting which culminated in an extraordinary general meeting being called on the June 8th, 1982, and the sole object of this was to remove Harry Marshall from being in control.”
Behind the scenes Wolves were in turmoil and as the pressure increased on Marshall he came out fighting for what he believed in. “There was furore amongst the shareholders and supporters alike which culminated in the meeting. There was lots of acrimony and Harry was criticised by his own directors. Harry was under extreme pressure and a vote was taken on a show of hands and he was almost unanimously voted out by the other shareholders. As the majority shareholder, he was in a position to call a ballot and he won by in excess of 100 votes. Harry won the day but Roger Hipkiss took issue with it and sought legal advice as he felt over 500 of the votes were invalid.”
With unrest in the boardroom and overwhelming pressure, Harry Marshall resigned on 16th June, 1982, and an unlikely candidate to save the club was presented in the form of ‘Deadly Doug’ Ellis. Doug continued: “The then former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis and former Wolves goalkeeper Malcolm Finlayson were presented as the saviours of the club with financial backing. A fortnight later, Doug (Ellis) for reasons best known to himself, decided that the best way to buy the club and to walk away from the debt was to call in the receivers. In a normal receivership situation the creditors would end up with nothing or very little and maybe Doug thought that he could start with a clean slate and no debt, but the Football League put a spanner in the works. They took the view that if you wanted to continue with the football operations of the club then everybody had to be paid in full.”
It was the 2nd of July, 1982, and the Express and Star were first to run with the headline: ‘WOLVES HAVE GONE BUST’.
“It sounds absurd to say it but the Falklands War was the main story at the time and it was knocked off as the lead story on the News At Ten at one point,” Doug recalls “Wolves became the first major club to find themselves in that situation. The club was then made available to be bid for by the receiver, as well as the debt having to be paid in full. The Football League set a deadline of the 30th July, 1982, so it was just under a month for somebody to put a deal together.”
It was a tight deadline and there were several interested parties who were looking to take control and change the ailing fortunes of this famous old club. “At that point Doug Ellis and Malcolm Finlayson were expected to take over. The Walsall chairman Ken Wheldon got involved and he put together a consortium involving Harry Marshall. A fellow called Anton Johnson, who was chairman of Rotherham United at the time, got involved with a man called Alistair Ward from Wolverhampton, and they put forward their interest. You didn’t know what was going to happen. The clear instruction from the receiver was that if it’s not sorted by July 30th then the Molineux grounds would be sold for development…and they had a developer in mind who was going to buy it!”
The deadline was set. Friday 30th July, 1982 – 5pm. “I was a season ticket holder. I had a few shares and I was mindful that something had to be done. I had a contact who had asked me to keep him informed of any property development opportunities. It was somebody who I had sold a car to some 18 months before. I told him that there was potentially scope for development at Wolves as there was land behind the North Bank which could be sold for the use of a supermarket. The club would have to be put on a firm financial footing and any potential rental or sale of the land would create an income to keep the club afloat. That was the initial thinking.”
It wasn’t that simple. The value in the club for any potential investor would be to procure a deal for the sale of the land adjacent to the North Bank. With a club on its knees this appeared to be the only way to make it viable unless the investor was equipped with a personal fortune or credit line to plough in, not only to pay off the debts but also rebuild the team. Doug hatched a plan and it would involve his friend, former Wolves striker and club legend, Derek Dougan. “I had known Derek for a long time socially and we were chatting about the subject one day and I told him that I knew a gentleman called Mike Cornwell who could do something about this and would he be interested in getting involved? I had no experience of running a football club and Derek confirmed his interest and it went from there.”
The group had to move quickly. Time was running out and provisions had to be put in place to convince the receivers of their intentions. The brokering of the deal and precisely how it was going to be financed remained the priority. “Mike Cornwell introduced me to Mike Rowland and John Starkey who ran a firm called Allied Properties,” Doug explains.
Allied Properties was incorporated just one year earlier in June 1981 and was under the ownership and control of Mahmud Bhatti and his younger brother Mohammed Akbar Bhatti.
Doug continued: “They wished to remain anonymous throughout which looking back was naïve in the extreme. When we had our initial meetings with Mike Rowland and John Starkey we were invited to go and meet ‘the principles’. We travelled down to Manchester Airport to an industrial estate where their business was based and they were dressed in full Arab gowns, which is the only time that we ever saw them in that attire. They didn’t say much, but Derek presented the proposals to them and they were impressed. We then went to have a meal, myself, Derek, Mike and John and during the course of that meal Mike was up and down taking calls and returning to the table to put the questions to us. It was clear that they were interested, we had made the right impression and it was happening.”
It was mid-July and the clock was ticking on the future of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Doug admittedly had his work cut out and there was little time for due diligence on the investors. “It was around the 10th of July that we first met with them and prior to that we had had no involvement with each other. We basically had two weeks to put something together, which in hindsight was always going to be difficult as a lot of what we had to do was taken on trust. We had a meeting with Wolverhampton Council and we were clear with them that if this deal was to work, we needed their support to build the supermarket and generate the income. We met with John Bird and the Chief Executive and they confirmed that ‘Saving Wolves’ was a priority. To say it was all done on ‘nods and winks’ was an understatement. We thought we would get their support and on the strength of that we went to work.”
Doug and his consortium tried to keep their intentions close to their chest but they faced stiff competition for the club. “We tried to keep it under the radar as we were up against Doug Ellis and Ken Wheldon, who then had the backing of a certain Sir Jack Hayward, and in truth we felt that with their financial power – they should do it. We felt that there was a lot of huffing and puffing but not much happening.”
Doug made several references throughout the interview, to what he terms as ‘The Wolverhampton Establishment’. Local business leaders of influence throughout our then town whom he simply expected more of. “You would have thought that they would have rallied round, but they didn’t. We put our proposal together and it leaked into the press on around the 24th July. We had discussions with the receivers and it culminated in a meeting on the 30th July which was the final day…and we ended up being successful.”
The cat was out of the bag on the 24th July. The Express and Star had reported of a new consortium which consisted of local businessman Doug Hope, club legend Derek Dougan and the mysterious backers from Allied Properties. “It took Derek Tucker who was Chief Reporter at the Express and Star about seven days to find out who was behind the bid,” says Doug.
“We went to the meeting at Peat, Marwick and Mitchell, the official receivers based in Birmingham, on the 30th July at about 9am. We had spoken to them the night before and our offer was £2,050,000 for the club. It was blind bids. We later found out that Doug Ellis had bid £1,650,000 and Ken Wheldon £1,800,000. Anton Johnson was on his way with a cheque but he never arrived. During the course of the day there was lots of backwards and forwards but by 4.30pm everything had been agreed. It was at that point the Football League wanted a £100,000 bond from the directors to guarantee that the fixtures would be played. Derek and I looked at each other. We had come this far so we signed the guarantee.” Wolves had been saved.
“The famous call then came through at 4:57pm to say the cheque had cleared and the club was ours, with just three minutes left until the deadline.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers (1982) Limited – Company No. 01477225 was born, and to this day still shares the same registered office address at Companies House as that of Allied Properties Limited which dissolved, only recently, in March 2020. It was a rescue package of £2,050,000 and the Wolves were finally away from the door, for the time being. Doug told me with a grin: “I had a call within days from the Inland Revenue asking where I had got the two million pounds from! That was because the Bhattis wanted to keep us as the front people.
“Wolverhampton Wanderers 1982 Limited was an off the shelf company which had been called Sempsen Manufacturing. We changed the name on the 19th July 1982 as that was the vehicle we used to buy the club. The Bhattis wanted us to put up guarantees of £150,000 which we did. It was agreed that we would get 10% of the equity each – which we never did.”
The Bhattis over the years had got bad press. Their motives were questioned, they were accused that the purchase was merely to be an asset-stripping exercise solely for the land and I was keen to know if anyone actually knew of the true intentions of the two mysterious men. One thing was for sure, money was put into the club to keep the club afloat and at peak it was reported that they were personally funding the club of up to £8,000 per week to meet break-even point. “I think the Bhattis were genuine in what they said they could do, on the proviso of the property deal stacking up” added Doug. “A lot was taken on trust due to the timescales and promises were made, handshakes were done but once we got down the line it was a different story. The older brother, Mahmud, was almost starstruck by Derek. He was a young man in perhaps his early 30’s at the time and Derek was a complicated man, a charmer with a lot of charisma, but just what we needed to get us through the door.”
On securing the club, new chairman Derek Dougan rallied his troops with his victory speech as he took control to pave the way for a brighter future. “Since I left, Wolves has not been run in the best interests of the players and the fans,” he said. “I hope in some way we will be able to give back to the people. As without them, there is no club.”
Derek was a man of his word. Wolves were reeling after the 1981/82 season ended in relegation from the top flight. Graham Hawkins was the surprise choice of manager to take over from Ian Greaves, being plucked from his assistant manager post at Shrewsbury where he assisted Graham Turner. Wolves got off to a flying start. An opening day 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Molineux saw Mel Eves strike twice. Wolves went nine games unbeaten marching to the top of the league and you would have been none the wiser of the off-pitch woes. “Derek took the view that he wanted Wolves people around him so he dispensed with Ian Greaves,” Doug explains. “Derek approached Graham Hawkins, who he knew. Graham was taken aback and couldn’t quite believe it. He also appointed Eric Woodward on the commercial side and he had been working with Doug Ellis at Aston Villa. Eric was the steadying influence and was an excellent appointment and he was a great help at that time.”
There were plenty of comings and goings at Molineux that summer. The Doog had created an ever spinning revolving door and was subject of a cartoon illustration in a national newspaper depicting his sacking spree. Doug continued: “In the first week the secretary Phil Shaw went, then the commercial manager Jack Taylor and then Ian Greaves. When we took over we didn’t have a medical team or a physio. Derek went on the local radio in an appeal to help with the situation and a chap called Dennis Conyerd turned up who was a physio. He had heard the appeal and came to the club to see Derek. ‘I’m here for an interview,’ Dennis said. Derek replied immediately, ‘Well here’s your interview, you can treat those five players…you’ve got the job’! Another character was Bill Tweddell who volunteered his services to be the club doctor. Bill was a wonderful man and was a John Cleese type character and all of these personalities just seemed to mesh. In the initial stages you just laughed as to what was going on but we got there! We put together a great team on and off the pitch, but it was more by accident than design.”
Joe Gallagher was one player who didn’t do himself any favours in the new look Wolves. In a newspaper interview, the former Birmingham man bizarrely claimed, ‘Wolves will only get 75% from me’. Derek Dougan responded perfectly in one of the few forms of media that was available, which simply wouldn’t happen today – his programme notes. The article featured the newspaper cutting and gave the reasons and the excerpts from his contract as to why Joe was duly being dismissed. Derek’s piece read: ‘There is also a suggestion that I am poacher turned gamekeeper that was all for the players when I was chairman of the PFA and now I’m the chairman of Wolves that I’ve changed my own personal stance. Let me make it perfectly clear, I haven’t changed one little bit’. And, just like that, Joe Gallagher was unemployed. Doug continued: “Derek was very annoyed with Joe’s comments as was Graham. He was due to play in a game that afternoon. It was 2pm due to kick off at 3pm and he was dropped there and then and we never saw him again. Joe was a strange lad!”
Wolves stuck with the solid armoury of the old guard as the new consortium took to matters off the pitch in their first full season at the helm of the club. The 1982/83 squad finished as runners up in the Second Division to QPR and regained promotion at the first attempt. Graham Hawkins created a perfect blend of a team mixed with experience interspersed with glimmers of youth. That season, debutant rookies Dale Rudge, Ian Cartwright, a 16-year-old David Wintersgill and Paul Butler were bolstered by 1980 League Cup winners Geoff Palmer, Mel Eves, Andy Gray and Kenny Hibbitt. Doug was pleased with the recruitment although there hadn’t been a great deal of investment. “Graham was very shrewd and signed Alan Dodd from Stoke who was a great influence. The masterstroke was signing John Burridge from Queens Park Rangers after Paul Bradshaw had got injured. What a character! I remember the final home game of the season against Newcastle when we won promotion. Budgie (John Burridge) came on the pitch dressed as Superman to do his warm-up. I remember Kevin Keegan’s face, it was a picture!”
Despite a great start on the pitch, it wasn’t quite the steady ship behind the scenes. “Things started to go wrong around Christmas time and you could sense it in the boardroom. It became clear that things weren’t as they should be when Mike Rowland went on the radio and said that there was a million pounds available for players and everybody was lifted by that. But it never happened. It was identified that we needed six players and Graham Hawkins came in the office with his assistant Jim Barron and named his targets. He told us he wanted Mick McCarthy, David Seaman, Micky Gynn, Ashley Grimes and a player called Gary Lineker. The players collectively would cost between £750,000 to £1,000,000. We had gone to Majorca at the end of the season and shared a hotel with Leicester City. We had spoken with Terry Shipman at Leicester and agreed a fee of £110,000 for Lineker and it was clear that Gary was receptive to a move. We agreed the deal, but no money was forthcoming.” If they had signed these players, it may very well have secured the longevity of the club’s top flight status with the players’ value certain to increase also.
Derek was his own man and had his own ideas. With his football knowledge and contacts he took it upon himself to source his own players unbeknown to the manager. “Derek did something that upset Graham. He signed a fellow called Tony Towner and Derek thought that he would be the sort of player that would get the crowd going as they loved a winger at Molineux. Well, he bought him and Graham said that he would have been about 45th on the list of players that he wanted!
“As things went on we sensed that the Bhattis couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put money into the club. By that time, there was resistance by the ‘Wolverhampton Establishment’, particularly the owners of the Mander Centre, who were against any development of a supermarket near to the ground. Their argument was that there was a local plan that prevented a retail facility outside of the ring road. They pressured the council that they had gone against their own plan and that any development would have gone against the Mander Centre. That was their thinking so obstacles were coming into the situation. We applied for what was an ‘urban development grant’ which would have allowed us to develop the stadium at the same time as building the supermarket. But there came a point where the council said that they were not prepared to give us planning for a supermarket until the ground was developed, which put the cart before the horse where the Bhattis and their cashflow were concerned. This was because doubts over the Bhattis credibility had set in and what had started as a good working relationship began to deteriorate pretty quickly.”
What started going wrong off the pitch was definitely matched on it. The decline began in earnest as Wolves dropped from the First Division in 1983/84 rooted to bottom spot. The 1984/85 season saw another foot-of-the-table finish under Tommy Docherty. The consecutive slide of all four divisions was complete as the 1985/86 season finished in relegation and Wolves were at their lowest ebb. “I could have walked away, but I didn’t.” said Doug. “I’d got guarantees and if I did walk away there was nobody else there to pick up the pieces so I may as well take the flak.
The Directors’ box was just above the Enclosure and it was extremely difficult given the situation but the real abuse was aimed at the Bhattis. I got some too and understandably so. There were dramas every day. The stories of the milkman and carpet fitter not getting paid, well, the press loved it and picked up on those things.
People couldn’t understand what was happening and the crowds had dropped so low, we used to joke that if the attendances got any lower we would have reverse proceedings and announce the crowd changes to the team over the tannoy!”
I sympathised with Doug. It reminded me of a famous quote by Rudyard Kipling.
‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…’
There would be no, what if? It really was happening.
“Things really were coming to a head during the 1985/86 season and the priority was to make it to the close season. It was clear to me that we had to find a buyer to raise funds to cover the running costs if we were to continue. I took the view, to make it as attractive as possible to any buyer, that we could offer the possibility of residential development at the Castlecroft training ground. To solve the issue of being left with no training facilities I purchased a six acre site just off the Cannock Road and there would have been no planning issues as it had a similar use. This would have solved the problem. I spoke to three potential buyers for the club but we were overtaken by events.”
Doug was doing all that he could in what was now a ticking time bomb. “Another option was to try and sell the ground to the council and lease it back. The club rented space in the John Ireland Stand to the Polytechnic and the aim was to get the Council to buy the rent roll for a one-off capital sum. At that time there was a toxic relationship between the club and the council and they had issued a winding-up order over non-payment of rates, despite the fact there was an ongoing appeal under consideration. We challenged this on the basis that following the awful tragedy of the Bradford fire in 1985, two stands had been condemned so we naturally asked for a reduction in rates. If we would have been closed down mid- season Wolves would have been expelled from the league for not fulfilling fixtures.
The Inland Revenue, believe it or not, were very accommodating and had given us time to pay the outstanding liabilities.”
Following the interview, Doug furnished me with confidential documents from the Inland Revenue, Metropolitan Borough of Wolverhampton Council and Companies House. It was eye opening stuff.
So, how did Wolves become the club they are today, Wolverhampton Wanderers (1986) Limited?
“It became clear early on that it was all going to be resistant of what had been agreed in principle and funds weren’t going to be available,” says Doug. “There was a great swell of opinion to get rid of the Bhattis and they became hate figures and by extension so did we. We hung on until 1986 when Lloyds Bank had appointed a receiver for the 1982 company and eventually the Gallaghers took over, fronted by Dick Homden and Jack Harris. They did the same sort of deal that we wanted to do with the council, but it was interesting that the same rules applied about paying all the debts. But the Gallaghers came to an agreement with the council that the council would hold the money, pay the debts and that money would be paid out once planning permission had been granted otherwise the money would have gone back to the Gallaghers. The money paid to the council was around £2,500,000 and of that around £1,800,000 was owed to Allied Properties as the creditors. The council took the view that anybody associated with the 1982 company had caused so much damage to Wolves that they resisted paying them anything. It was, in time, resolved in a different way ,but that’s a story for another time.” Doug did confirm that the milkman and carpet fitter received their money. Allied Properties didn’t.
“In addition, Sir Jack was involved peripherally and he gave a personal guarantee and added credibility to the situation,” added Doug. “It was left in limbo that the club could continue, subject to planning permission which was eventually granted, and gave the Gallaghers leverage to sell the land to Asda and eventually Sir Jack would take over from them.”
The rest really is history, our fairy god-father had arrived.
The nightmare wasn’t over for Doug. “I was owed money, Derek was owed money, Roger Hipkiss was owed money but I got mine as I was able to prove I had put money in. At one point, we had to put £50,000 in just to pay the players’ wages and hold it all together. Gordon Taylor at the PFA was great at the time and I would ring him up and he would be really helpful. In actual fact they would lend us money to pay the players’ wages secured against future TV revenue. I would also like to place on record the loyalty of three particular members of staff, Keith Pearson the club secretary, Joyce Sutherland and Dot Wooldridge. They really did help keep the Wolves away from the door.”
There was a purely subjective point, that part of the resistance in not wanting to support the Bhattis with the development of the land had a racial connotation. Enoch Powell had been an MP of Wolverhampton South West and became very famous for his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Doug gave me his take. “Derek rubbed people up the wrong way and he was loved and hated in equal measure. We were, at the time, all regarded as upstarts who should never have got through the door. I think anybody who owned the club at that time would have been in for a hard time.” It could and would never be proven.
The Doog had rightfully earned legendary status at Wolves, and his involvement as chairman would have been two-fold. To do his level best for the club that he loved and to somehow regain the adulation from the supporters who had revered him in his playing days. Doug told me: “Derek went in 1984. Did he go? Was he pushed? He felt he couldn’t go on, there was a conversation and the long story made short is, he left. Derek felt it deeply tainted his reputation and it hurt him. Myself, Roger Hipkiss and Eric Woodward carried on for another two years but Derek took the view that we should have resigned at the same time, but we didn’t. Eric also sadly suffered a heart attack during this time and it was a time of great stress and pressure.
We were where we were and we did what we did. Myself and Derek became close friends again and in later years we also looked at the situation at Stoke City in the late 1990’s but nothing materialised.”
This true friendship lasted until the very end. “The day before he died we had gone out for a spot of lunch. I dropped him off at his house and normally I would have gone in for a few drinks but he told me he was going in for a snooze as he didn’t feel so good. Derek died the next morning. At his funeral, I was the pallbearer with his two sons, Waggy (Dave Wagstaffe) and his brother. It was a sad occasion.”
I was intrigued to see if Doug had kept in contact with the Bhattis. After all, many had tried to contact them over the years, to no avail. “There’s been a couple of calls over the last five years.” Doug then thought for a moment. “They stopped the ship from sinking, then ran it aground.” I gave Doug my abiding memory of ‘The Doog’. My father had a car valeting business called ‘Ken Klean’ in the 90’s in Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton. It was my first job. One day in came Derek for a ‘wash and vac’ on his car. I took extra care, and time, to make sure the legend was happy and when he came to pay his £5 bill, he gave me two of his signed books instead. I was over the moon but my Dad wasn’t happy that this was his currency and duly deducted it from my wages! The front of the book had a picture of George Best on a crucifix and Derek carefully put the words inside: ‘To Jason. Never judge a book by its cover. The Doog.’
I asked Doug for his abiding memory of his time at the club and his journey from season ticket holder to vice-chairman. Doug gave me a grin. “Getting promotion in 1982/83, that was as good as it got. You live for days like that whether you are a supporter, shareholder or owner.”
Doug Hope had given me the full story. The real veracity behind the Bhattis narrative will always remain a mystery and I would imagine that many of their secrets are buried beneath the rubble of the old Waterloo Road Stand that now makes up the footings of today’s Molineux. Doug Hope is still a regular in the stands and remains a supporter to this day. If you bumped into the man who helped save our club on the 30th of July 1982 at 4:57pm, you probably wouldn’t know who he was… but he has a great story to tell.