‘The Magic Number’ could have been written for Wolves left-back Scott Golbourne. Kenny Jackett’s recent £700,000 signing from Barnsley is a big fan of early 1990s hip hop and dance music.
Scott Golbourne spoke to Expressandstar.com as he fronted a campaign to clean up car parks in the region.
His eye-catching Afro flat-top haircut is a throwback to bands of that era such as three-piece De La Soul, who had a big hit with ‘The Magic Number’ in 1990, taken from their album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’. During the song, the trio state that three is their magic number.
And in the case of Golbourne – who is into his third century of career games and will make the 200th League start if he features against Swindon tomorrow – it could be true.
He signed a three-year contract with Wolves, who are currently in the third tier where he has played most of his career, with Molineux his third permanent stop at this level after Bristol City and Exeter.
“I’ve had my hair like this for nearly a year now,” said Golbourne, who has seen three of his four league encounters against Swindon end in 0-0 draws, the other finishing 1-1.
“It’s a cut from the early 90s. I’m quite big on that era – Jodeci, Bobby Brown and De La Soul.
“There were a few R ’n’ B and hip hop groups around at the time and that’s the sort of music I’m into, from when I was a kid watching MTV.
“I thought that was a style I’d like to bring back, something a little different.
“A few fans have said they like the hair so it’s gone down quite well so far.”
But he denies the gold streak in it is a reference to Wolves. “I put the colour in a couple of months ago, so that wasn’t to do with Wolves – but I’m happy it’s worked out that way!” he said.
Right now, the only ‘roots’ Golbourne is looking to put down are with his new employers, and establish himself after a fairly nomadic career which saw him appear in all four divisions before his 20th birthday.
After he started at Bristol City, there followed a Premier League debut with Reading in August 2007 alongside Wolves players of various recent vintages Marcus Hahnemann, Ivar Ingimarsson, Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle, his only other league game for the Royals coming in the Championship.
Golbourne gained experience on loan at Wycombe in League Two before returning to the third tier for loan stints at Bournemouth and an Oldham side spearheaded by Lee Hughes and Dean Windass in attack. Then there was a permanent switch to Exeter.
It was with the Grecians where, you’ve guessed it, he was in his third season in League One when a move to Barnsley took him to the Championship.
Now he’s looking to stay at Wolves for a while. “The reason I joined Wolves was the size of the club, the potential and where it’s looking to go,” he said.
“I like the idea of it being stripped down and rebuilt and it’s somewhere I see myself being long-term.
“I’ve signed for three years so I can see myself doing a good stint here. When you have an opportunity to sign for a big club, it’s a long-term commitment – it’s not really a place you come as a stepping stone.
“You want to grow and build with the club and I feel like that here.
“That’s the opportunity here; even outside of football, this region is perfect for me living-wise and for family. It’s somewhere I definitely feel I’ll settle.”
Golbourne is happy that Wolves will see the best years of his career.
And, in contrast to his ‘retro’ appearance, he believes the club need to be targeting a return to the Premier League in the medium-term future.
“I played my best football last season and my best years are ahead of me,” he said.
“I’d like to think the next four or five years are going to be the best of my career and I’m at a fantastic club to be able to showcase that.
“With the potential here, promotion to the Championship is going to be key and I think we have to be looking at getting back into the Premier League, long-term.
“That’s why I joined. Yes, I did have to step down a level, but hopefully that’s only for a season. Signing here was based on a long-term outlook.”
At 25 and with more than 250 games behind him, Golbourne is in the unusual role of being one of the more senior players in what has become an increasingly youthful dressing room.
“That’s a new experience for me, because every time I’ve joined a club previously I’ve been one of the least experienced members of the group,” he said.
“I don’t consider myself to be an old player, but when I look at the stats I suppose I can call myself fairly experienced.
“I’ve played a lot of league games but that’s the sort of mix the manager wanted – that youth, hunger and desire mixed with experience. That’s the best combination to have.
“It’s nice to have something you can pass on and bring to the dressing room as well as funky hair and outrageous clothing at times!
“It’s good to be able to bring that bit of experience and hopefully that will help us during the course of the season.”