Shrewsbury Town and Wolves fans to unite as former boss Graham Turner returns to Molineux

He wants the game to end in a draw for obvious reasons. But there is nothing neutral about the mutual affections Graham Turner will stir when he returns to Molineux tomorrow.

Former Shrewsbury Town and Wolves boss Graham Turner
Former Shrewsbury Town and Wolves boss Graham Turner

Wolves fans will be forever grateful for the major role Turner played reviving and transforming the club in the mid to late 1980s.

Shrewsbury followers are equally respectful of the job he did leading them to the highest point of their history from 1978-84, then returning to inspire them to promotion in his latest three-year spell.

Sadly, the 66-year-old ended his managerial career without returning to Molineux to manage competitively.

Tomorrow will also be the first live game he has watched since retiring from the Greenhous Meadow hotseat on January 21.

But he could hardly have picked a more apt one and the former Wolves and Shrewsbury boss will be back on familiar territory with naturally mixed feelings.

“I’m interested in both clubs and how they’re doing, so a draw would be a great result from where I’m standing!” he said.

“Shrewsbury need the points to get themselves out of trouble and a point wouldn’t be a disaster for Wolves in terms of their current position.

“Shrewsbury have been very close in a number of games recently and they should have picked up more points, which they will do if they continue to perform.

“When you look back to some games, they haven’t had the luck and even the Wolves one earlier this season didn’t do justice to their performance.

“I desperately hope Shrewsbury get out of trouble and I still feel they have a reasonable chance – I just hope the results improve.

“By all accounts, performances haven’t been too bad but sometimes they’ve had a bit of bad luck and decisions have gone against them, so I hope that changes.

“As for Wolves, Kenny won’t thank me for saying it but they’re almost certain to win promotion.

“Nine consecutive wins is a tremendous feat and Kenny deserves a lot of credit for turning the club around. The last couple of seasons were terrible for Wolves and that negative feeling gets into a fabric of a club.

“And what with successive relegations, it wasn’t dissimilar from the mid-1980s when I went there.

“The club was in decline and that takes some turning around.

“But I saw the two French lads (Sako and Dicko) interviewed recently and there looks to be that enjoyment, hope and contentment again that you need to have a successful environment.

“Kenny seems to have got everyone pulling in the right direction again, which wasn’t happening for different reasons.”

Turner turned around Wolves fortunes with the signing of a certain 21-year-old who went by the name Bull.

Another striker of the same age – Nouha Dicko – is doing the same for Jackett’s Wolves now.

Although any comparison between the two would be unfair, Turner believes the addition of the Wigan signing has added the missing ingredient to the club’s promotion push, even though he was a confirmed fan of the departed Leigh Griffiths.

“What they have got now is a goalscorer in Nouha Dicko,” he said.

“It looks like he’s got a lot of talent and could have a big impact on the club’s future.

“Steve Bull took a while to get started and didn’t set the place alight straight away.

“He came into the side after Chorley and the team weren’t doing very well.

“The club was on a real low so there was a significant difference between the Wolves of then and Wolves now.

“Dicko has come in when the club has started going on the up again and added to it.”

Turner of course was the last manager to achieve that eight-match winning run and is the only man to have done it twice at Wolves.

He was more than happy to see Jackett’s side overtake it on Tuesday night at Swindon and believes they can carry on winning.

Graham Turner and Steve Bull with the division 4 trophy. Picture from 'The Bully Years."

Turner also sees similarities with Jackett’s Wolves and the team he built in the late 80s.

“I’m not quite sure how you do it, but once you get that belief, you never think you’re going to lose,” he said.

“I would imagine that belief is running through the players and they will go through the next few weeks believing they can’t lose. That comes with confidence.

“They have got good players and have a fair element of young players with that hunger to get better individually and collectively and that’s what we had with people like Bully, Andy Mutch, Andy Thompson and Robbie Dennison.

“They were players that needed to improve but they had the appetite to do so and Kenny’s squad now is the same.

“What a great time to be at a great club like Wolves - they’re only going one way now and that’s up.

“I’m a long way away from it but you look at the age of the players and their desire to prove themselves as decent individuals as well as players and there seems to be that spirit back in the club again.”

Retirement isn’t a word that sits easily with Turner, who retained a freshness and an enthusiasm about him despite the advances of the modern game.

“It’s something different from going in at 7.30am every morning and standing in that dugout on matchdays feeling my age!” he said. “I’ve been catching up with family and doing some gardening.

“To be honest, I felt a bit jaded and not as sharp towards the end.

“I might have acted on the spur of the moment but I felt it was the right decision at the time and I still do.”

Turner will return to a hero’s welcome tomorrow bursting with pride at the transformation of his boyhood team.

“I think about the way the club is going now and the way it was,” he said.

He said: “I’m going with some members of my family tomorrow and they will see a magnificent stadium and the statues.

“I think about the way it was in the mid-1980s with three sides of the ground crumbling down and the other you needed binoculars to see the pitch, so it will be a pleasant experience going there.”

“So without a shadow of a doubt I feel pride when I look back on my career, and Wolves were one of the biggest things.”

“It was the club I supported as a boy and my favourite player was Billy Wright, who then came on the board during my time there and I got to know him very well.

“So all that adds up to a dream time for me.”

Comments for: "Shrewsbury Town and Wolves fans to unite as former boss Graham Turner returns to Molineux"

Solentwolves

I hope it will be a great day for Graham - I know Molineux will rise to him and wish I could be there to join in. He and the 1988 team restored our dreams, just as Kenny and his team are doing now. Among many memories, Wembley among them, I can still see in my mind, Graham standing on the scaffolding at the Mol to get a bird's eye view of how the team were playing.

Lobo para siempre

A hero's welcome is more than appropriate. Graham did a brilliant job in the darkest hour of the club's history and I for one will ever be grateful for that.

Hey lobo para siempre, nice post and I totally agree with what you say. However, you should call yourself "¡El partidario de los lobos para siempre!" Which is "wolves supporter forever" lobo para siempre is a wolf forever and I'm sure you dont mean that. Sorry for this but I'm bi-lingual, Rep de Panama y Inglaterra.......

Selly park wolf

Can't wait for Mr Turners return tomorrow.

A total legend and gentleman.

I remember his first few weeks in charge getting a lot of stick off the fans after Brian Little got the sack.

We were hovering around 4/5th from bottom of the 4th div on the brink of extinction, with around 10 games or so to go trailing Stockport 1-0 with a few minutes left after we had been previously beaten by Crewe 3-2 the home game before.

Although people mention chorley as the low point but this game was the turning point as we scored 3 goals in the last 10 minutes and went on a great run to get to the play offs eventually losing out to aldershot.

The next 2 seasons were the happiest memories in football for me, winning the 4th and 3rd division titles, having half the ground in most away games and taking over whatever town we went to.

I enjoyed this even more than reaching the PL.

Hope Shrewsbury get well beat tomorrow but then hopefully they will survive.

Be great to see Andy Mutch too what a player!

Mr turner welcome home and thank you for those very very happy teenage memories.

There's only one Graham Turner!

oldgoldandblack

Just wanted to echo Selly park Wolf's post. Those two title winning seasons were such a great time. I remember us playing Leyton Orient at their ground just before the Sherpa Van final. We'd already won the old 4th division and they were playing for a play off place but the Wolves team were so confident in those days they beat Orient convincingly despite really having nothing to play for. Great days and a team to be proud of. I remember Graham Turner coming out on the balcony at Molineux after we'd won the 3rd division title, his measured tones are so evocative of a really positive time in our history. Bully scoring goal after goal, really a once in a lifetime player, Floyd in defence, Mark Kendall in goal Wonderful stuff.

karlwolves

Can only say What a great man Mr Turner is, I had the pleasure of interviewing him when i had just been made editor of the London Wolves magazine. He was very friendly, very accommodating, he started off by giving me a tour of the depleted ground as it was to ease my nerves. For what he achieved at Wolves he will go down in history as among st the greats. He saved our great club from oblivion and took them back up leagues just falling short in taking us back to the top division something all Wolves fans would of loved to seen, Graham leading his team out at Old Trafford and Bully doing the business on the pitch, unfortunately for all of us this wasnt to be.

IanD

GOD is back!!!!!!!!!!

brierley hill wolf

Had the pleasure of meeting him once on the coach going to see Paul McCartney at the NEC he very approachable and like was said above a perfect gentlemen, he will I am sure get the reception he rightly deserves.

God on ya Graham those were very happy days indeed

CoRnIsHWoLf

One of the true saviours of our great club in it's darkest of days. Every wolves supporter in the ground tomorrow should rise from their seats & acclaim him for job that he did here. It's almost impossible to imagine the state of the club & particularly the ground at the time Graham Turner became manager, unless you were there. It is no exaggeration to say that without him, & the players he signed back then, Wolves may not have been here today. I have no doubt the success his team generated led to Sir Jack's investment, new ground & the clubs growth once more. So when the time comes to say 'thankyou', as a supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers, remember we all owe this man a huge debt of gratitude.....................Cheers Graham.

Why is Moxey still here

Wonderful to see you back Graham. I enjoyed our chat on that cold dark night back in the eighties. Thanks for everything you did for the club and the fans. Enjoy your retirement - you deserve it

All the best for the future.

beachbanjo

thank you graham for what you did It lit up my life as an 11yr old and bully was my hero .but you took us on a journey I rememeber successive relgations and the john ireland being 40 miles from the pitch but without you and your signings we wouldnt be anywhere.I THINK A STATUE SHOULD GO UP FOR GRAHAM TURNER AT MOLINEAUX, bully and sir jack too.all wouldnt want it but graham, bully and sir jack did more than dennis did at ARSENAL with all due respect