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Wolves favourites reopen Castlecroft

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A host of former Wolves favourites will take a trip down memory lane on Sunday when the club's former training ground is officially re-opened.

A host of former Wolves favourites will take a trip down memory lane on Sunday when the club's former training ground is officially re-opened.

AFC Wulfrunians, who now play at the ground in the West Midlands Premier League, are to host the Wolves All-Stars in a match to mark the use of Castlecroft as a football venue.

Ex-Molineux stars Alf Crook, Les Cocker, Barry Stobart, Ted Farmer, Phil Parkes, Gerry Taylor, Frank Munro, Bob Hazell, George Berry, Steve Daley, John Black, Martin Patching, Hugh Atkinson, Norman Bell, Ian Cartwright and Joe Jackson are all attending a buffet lunch at the ground to mark the event.

They will then sit back and watch the main event and cheer on some of their old team-mates.

Confirmed for the Wolves All-Stars team are player-manager Mel Eves, Jamie Smith, Robbie Dennison, Mick Matthews, Dale Rudge, Darren Simkin, Paul Jones and Jon Purdie - who is now AFC Wulfrunians' youth manager.

Also involved are Mark Duncombe, who played in the run to the 1976 FA Youth Cup final, Loy Stobart, a one-time Wolves junior and son of FA Cup winner Barry, and Martin Prentice, a current Wolves academy coach.

In all, a total of 25 former Wolves first-teamers with a combined 2,760 appearances between them spanning five decades will be at Castlecroft, where players trained from 1956 to 1986 before it was sold off when the club went bust.

The venue was then occupied by the Rugby Football Union as a regional headquarters for almost two decades, before AFC Wulfrunians moved there at the start of last season.

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Time constraints have prevented them from hosting an official opening in their new ground until now.

The match also doubles as a benefit game for Old Wulfs midfielder and well-known non-League player Steve Palmer, son of ex-Wolves star Geoff.

The former players are meeting for a buffet lunch at the ground at 1pm and the match kicks off at 3pm. Several of them are making long journeys to be at the game.

Black, who was a reserve in the late 1970s, is travelling down from Brora Sutherland in northern Scotland, Matthews is driving down from Hull, Bell now lives in Blackburn and Patching Yorkshire.

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Wolves All-Stars' player-manager Eves said: "The ground holds very special memories to several generations of Wolves players and I'm looking forward to meeting many old friends at the game.

"This is the first time we've all met up in 20 or 30 years because we have so few get-togethers, so something like this is great.

"I remember rooming with 'Blacky' on a pre-season trip to Sweden."

Eves added: "We're delighted to support AFC Wulfrunians on their official opening of the Castlecroft Stadium."

Also playing for Wolves are Walsall legend and Express & Star columnist Chris Marsh and ex-Coventry stars Tim Clarke and 'Flying Postman' John Williams.

Captain of the AFC Wulfrunians All-Stars, Steve Palmer, said: "My career started with Old Wulfrunians and I'm humbled they've asked me to captain the side for this game.

"It makes it even more special when the Wolves All-Stars have agreed to be the opposition at this ground that holds so many memories for the club."

Palmer jnr welcomes former AFC Telford and Willenhall boss Rob Smith and his long-time number two Larry Chambers, ex-Wolves, Hednesford, Kidderminster, Stafford Rangers and Telford defender Chris Brindley, Asa Charlton, Gary Fitzpatrick and Kevin Davies as part of his team.

Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for children, with family tickets for two adults and two children at £10.

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