Steve Bull: Wolves legend turned comedian? Bully keeps his fans in stitches at charity event
He is better known for scoring goals than laughs but Wolves legend Steve Bull brought the house down at a bumper charity fundraiser in the Black Country last night.
The club's record 306-goal top scorer was joined by former Wolves star Jody Craddock and current Molineux defender Danny Batth at The Cross pub in Oldswinford in a question and answer session in front of a sell-out crowd of 150 fans.
During two hours of recollections to a spellbound audience – many wearing Wolves colours – Bully recounted highlights of his career.
He told how the England team coach was subjected to vile abuse en route to Hampden Park to play Scotland before he made his international debut in May 1989.
"We were 200 yards from the tunnel but eggs, tomatoes, cans and bottles – you name it, it was thrown at us," said Bully, now 48. "When we got off, the coach driver had to wipe the door frame down to stop it all dripping on our heads.
"But as we walked to the dressing room, Terry Butcher ran past us and wrenched the toilet door off, shouting 'you Scottish --------'."
Bully also recounted how he scored all four goals in the fairytale 4-1 win at Newcastle on New Year's Day 1990 – despite being worse for wear for the only time in his career.
"Graham Turner, the manager, said we had to be in bed by five past midnight to allow us to see the new year in – then said we could have a couple of halves," he said.
"So myself, 'Mutchy' (Andy Mutch), 'Thommo', Cooky, (Paul Cook) and Mike Stowell all went out drinking the night before the game before returning to ring our wives at five past midnight. Afterwards I was trying to get Thommo to go clubbing – we were wearing our Wolves tracksuits at the time! – but he said we should go back to bed so we took a bottle of wine back to the room and drank it.
"We were all like sheep the next day, sticking together and immediately regretted it because we had to play in front of 30,000 at St. James' Park. But we got to half-time and it was 0-0 and I somehow scored four goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half, so my head must have cleared!"
Bull, who is now a Wolves vice-president, said former Molineux boss Turner was the best manager he played under and singled out him, England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles, who gave him his big chance at West Bromwich Albion after signing him from non-league Tipton Town, and Bobby Robson, who gave him his international break and took him to the World Cup in 1990, for special thanks for his career.
He said Paul Gascoigne was the best player he played with – even though he admitted grabbing Gazza by the elbow at half-time of the Scotland game telling him in no uncertain terms to pass to him after claiming the midfielder snubbed him for two goalscoring chances!
Bully recalled the day he signed for Wolves in November 1986 with fellow Albion player Andy Thompson. "We drove up the M5 in my orange Cortina, me in my jacket with the furry collar looking like something out of Starsky and Hutch," he said. "We parked outside the old Molineux on Waterloo Road and took one look and thought 'what have we come to here?' We walked in and our feet squelched because there was standing water on the floors where the water leaked in.
"Thommo went in the office first and came out three minutes later, saying 'I've signed for £125 a week, with a £2,500 signing-on fee. I walked in next, came out four minutes later and he said 'have you signed?' I said 'yes, for £150 a week, plus a £4,000 signing-on fee'!"
Organisers raised £3,600 on the night, to be split 50-50 between Bull's Steve Bull Foundation and the Birmingham Children's Hospital, where Jody's son Toby has been treated for leukaemia.
Fans Neil Taylor, aged 43,landlord of the Fox At Shipley pub, near Pattingham, and Graham Large, 29, from Finchfield, supported the event. They aim to raise between £20,000 and £30,000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital by running the Paris Marathon on April 6, cycling back to London then running the London Marathon on April 13. Neil's daughter Kiahna, aged seven, has had five heart operations at BCH.
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