What an amazing game of Top Trumps could be had with Wolves players from across the years, writes Martin Swain.
There’s only one problem of course – the devil of a task to be had deciding whether Dougan trumped Wilshaw, Swinbourne outweighed Bull or Flowers out-pointed Bailey; inevitably, these are entirely subjective evaluations and represent a nigh-impossible task.
But one thing I imagine all Wolves fans would agree upon – right up there in the small clutch of hallowed figures who have no peer in the Molineux story is Peter Broadbent.
Which is why I would have no hesitation backing any move to salute this wonderful footballer with a third statue to join Billy Wright and Stan Cullis around the stadium’s perimeters.
The club are faced with an extraordinarily-sensitive and thankless task trying to establish meritocracy amid the endless demands for the heroes of yesteryear to be honoured. At no time is this more poignant or more emotionally-charged than in the days which follow their passing. It was partly in recognition of this recurring dilemma that current owner Steve Morgan became such a strong advocate of the Hall of Fame, the impressive and substantial ‘living’ museum which is possibly waiting for happier times to be more enthusiastically embraced by supporters.
But, well, there was something special, something even extra special, about Peter.
No player has been nominated more consistently as the club’s finest ever footballer and both in the emotional charge his memory provides and the substance of his career, Broadbent demands a place in the club’s highest and most exclusive VIP area.
Although regarded as a provider of goals, he scored his share too – 145 in nearly 500 appearances which are testament to his durability in a far more muscular era.
He also had the ‘full set’ of campaign honours from the glory days – three Championship medals, the FA Cup and an appearance in all four of the fabled floodlit games.
But equally significant are the emotions he stirs. Broadbent was not only a clearly effective contributor to the greatest era in the club’s history but an artist too, a delight on the eye, a footballer who made Molineux beam with pride and purr with pleasure.
The club’s great problem is that, were they to listen to every demand for a statue to commemorate a cherished former player, there would barely be room for much else at Molineux. As things stand, there is absolutely no doubt that Messrs Wright and Cullis stand as rightful and permanent symbols of Wolves’ finest hours and constant reminders of what the institution of this football club should always endeavour to reproduce.
Not only that, both statues are two of the finest on the football landscape, capturing both of these great servants to the cause with impressive dignity and bearing.
Wolves pay their respects to the epic deeds of the past in other ways too. We have the Steve Bull stand, the Bert Williams suite, the Jack Taylor referees’ room.
But Broadbent was a player so highly regarded across the nation that Stanley Matthews thought – and went on record saying – Walter Winterbottom should build an England team around him and about whom Sir Alex Ferguson felt sufficiently inspired to film his own tribute to the player when he was inducted to Wolves’ Hall of Fame.
So yes, a Broadbent statue at Molineux would get my vote.