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From the Wolves archive – when Brian Law nicked a bus

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

When four Albion players allegedly stole a taxi in Barcelona last week, Wolves fans of a certain generation may have shrugged and asked 'what, only a taxi?'.

Brian Law and that bus

Twenty-three years ago the club was involved in a bizarre late-night transport scandal of its own when Wolves defender Brian Law nicked a bus. Yes, a bus.

It's a story that's gone down in folklore – and one supporters regularly joke about.

Ex-team mates see the funny side too...

Froggatt's memory, perhaps like Law's of that fateful evening, isn't entirely accurate. For a start it was a single decker, namely the 510 to Compton/Perton.

But while we can all joke about it now, this was serious business at the time. Law's antics were splashed all over the front and back pages for a week, Wolves considered sacking their centre half and the matter ended up in court where Law faced the very real prospect of jail time.

Law had never really done things by the book. A promising young centre half who won a Wales cap aged 20 when plying his trade for QPR, he actually retired in 1991 due to a serious tendon injury before being miraculously cured when backpacking around the world in the next two years.

Wolves took a gamble on the Merthyr Tydfil-born player and he formed part of a squad that was challenging for promotion in 1994/95.

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However Brian then found himself on the wrong side of the law.

It all began in the early hours of a Sunday morning in July 1995. Wolves, managed by strict disciplinarian Graham Taylor, had just returned to pre-season training and Law, then aged 25, perhaps hadn't quite got back into the diet and fitness regime his profession dictates.

He was on his way home from an all-night party in Wolverhampton with his brother and two friends having consumed, as the later court case revealed, more than 20 drinks. One thing led to another and, as you do, the group decided to accost an empty M-reg bright yellow Choice Travel bus from the town's bus station.

Law got in the driver's seat and the wheels on the bus went round and round for half a mile before it smashed into railings on the Stafford Street ring road.

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The court case heard that the quartet ran off and hid in bushes, but were quickly caught.

By Monday afternoon Law had been charged and the whole business was made public in the Express & Star that day.

"We are intensely unhappy," Taylor fumed.

"The whole thing will be discussed by the chairman and the board of directors and action will be taken, you can be assured of that."

That action was ordering Law to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work with disadvantaged youngsters plus a fine of two weeks' wages.

"I have acted very foolishly and wish to apologise unreservedly for my behaviour," a sheepish Law said in a statement some days later.

"I feel I have let myself down badly. Even more importantly I have let down and embarrassed my family and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

"What I did was totally out of character and will not happen again."

Law stayed true to his word – no more buses were to go missing in Wolverhampton.

Five months later he appeared in court where Taylor, sacked as Wolves boss a couple of weeks earlier, turned up to give a glowing defence of his former player's character.

On the day that beef was taken off school menus in Wolverhampton after another mad cow disease scare, Law was slapped with a hefty fine for the damage caused but was spared jail.

Law's Wolves career continued and he stayed at Molineux until 1997, making 40 appearances in total before moving to Millwall.

His preferred mode of transport for getting to the Den is unknown.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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