Tribute A Fond Farewell?
Tuesday 25th April 2006 could mark a sad day not only in the long history of Wolverhampton Wanderers, but in English football as a whole.
On that day, in the Hayward Suite at Molineux, Wolves will pay tribute to their inspirational captain Paul Ince at their annual Gala Dinner.
It will feature a look back on Paul's glittering career as a midfield force on the worlds greatest sstages with the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as England, and will feature special tributes from those closest to the man himself.
The date, and timing for the tribute is curious, in that it comes just days before Wolves final game of the season against Norwich on Sunday 30th April.
Tributes to outstanding players are not unusual, and Vital Wolves may be well off the mark here.
But we can't recall many being held of this stature, to commemorate the career of a club captain intent on playing on for another year.
And whilst some may say it's his duty as captain, could this be why he is always been at pains to approach the Wolves faithful and applaud, no matter what the response the team has recieved from the fans this year at the final whistle?
Are Wolves about to wave goodbye to The Guv'nor for one final time?
The loss of Paul Ince would be a sad day in the annals of a club steeped in glorious history, and heroes alike.
But time is no respecter of reputation, or achievment in the professional game.
Paul came to Wolves for what was supposed to be his final hurrah. His last year turned out to be four, and for that, every Wolves fan is grateful.
He guided the team to promotion after nearly 2 decades of waiting, and has inspired fan and fellow players throughout that entire time.
Should this indeed turn out to be his goodbye, he will leave with nothing but the best of wishes from all associated with the club.
In an age where the word legend has become devalued by its over use, Wolverhampton Wanderers fans have been lucky enough to call a genuine holder of that moniker one their own.
Paul Ince. True Footballing Legend