Wolves v SAFC: (1) McCarthy Out too, says voice of youth

Oliver Graves

The season before last, Salut! Sunderland dedicated a “Who are You?” feature for one of the games against Wolves to David Graves, a great friend and colleague of M Salut’s who died in a diving accident in 2002. Today, in the first of two Wolves “Who are You?”s, David’s sons Oliver and Nathan* – who have kept the Wolfie roar loud and clear in the Graves household – jointly handle the customary pre-match questionnaire, making them the youngest supporters to take part in the series. The questions were set and answered before Steve Bruce’s dismissal but the boys made clear their disenchantment with another manager with SAFC connections …

Tomorrow: the Wolfie who hasn’t missed a game in 35 years …

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For David Graves: another reason to want Wolves to stay up

Tomorrow, nearly nine years after he died an avoidable death, David Graves‘s spirit will be willing his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers to victory at the Stadium of Light. David was a globetrotting reporter and a great colleague and friend. I imagine him in some far-off, dusty and maybe dangerous spot, fiddling with the internet links he seemed able to find even all those years ago. David would not have expected me to want Wolves to win today, and I do not.

But in his honour, and thinking very much of his wife Diana and their two boys Oliver and Nathan, Wolfies all, I hope very much that other results go for them and that they clinch survival on the final day. The following, reproduction of which has been inspired by the friendship shown by so many Wolves supporters this week and in the past, originally appeared at another of my websites, Salut!, on the fifth anniversary of his death …

Every so often, you still hear that extravagant, rising laugh of his.

You imagine him back in the old Telegraph newsroom. There, he’d be approaching each task with customary professionalism. If things were quiet, he’d be wandering from desk to desk showing quizzical interest in what others were up to.

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Who are you? We’re Wolves (1)


If no one minds, this week’s Who are you? feature, ahead of SAFC v Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, is an in memoriam edition. It honours David Graves, a Wolves-supporting colleague and great friend who died in a diving accident seven years ago, and Jake, the baby taken by cot death syndrome a year later from Jody Craddock, a centre back who has been a model of commitment and professionalism at both Sunderland and Wolves. Fittingly, the game is previewed – in the first of two Black Country contributions – by Andy Nicholls*, another Wolves man with a Mackem connection

Briefly, David was a reporter I had known since our days together at the Press Association. He was extremely good at his job but also a committed family man. He, his wife Diana and their two boys deserved better than that he should die while diving in the Bahamas. He would have been my first choice to answer questions prior to a Wolves v Sunderland encounter.

Equally briefly, Jody – coincidentally a big fan of Bahamas holidays – was still a mainstay of our defence when he and his wife Shelley, lost Jake at just five months. Jody, a gifted art student when at school, returned to canvas to work through his grief. His work – which can be seen and bought at his own site – illustrates (with Jody’s consent) this series of excellent responses from Andy Nicholls, from the top Wolves fan site Molineux Mix. Our thoughts are with both families.

And here are the questions …

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