A host of legends from various different eras of Chairboys history will be reunited at a special celebration of the 10-year anniversary at Adams Park on Easter Monday, when the Blues take on Walsall, as John D Taylor explains.
Wycombe v Chesterfield has a special meaning for any modern-day Blues fan. It was there almost exactly a year ago – who can forget the wild celebration scenes - that the Wanderers clinched their spectacular promotion from Division 2, goals from Nathan Tyson and Dominic Gape ensuring their places in the club’s Hall of Fame.
But ten years earlier, the same opposition were on show at Adams Park when another memorable milestone was notched. Nearly 100 ex-players, whose stories stretched back over 70 years, paraded in front of fans who revelled in recalling old heroes and retelling old glories.
So March 7th 2009 is remembered as the official launch date of the Wycombe Wanderers Ex-Players Association. And what a packed decade to look back upon. That afternoon, for the first time ever, the select few to have worn the Blues shirt more than 300 times each – 13 of just 17 surviving legends - were brought together to parade on the Adams Park pitch just before kick-off.
They were led out by all-time club legends Tony Horseman and John Maskell who between them made nearly 1,700 appearances. Bodger scored 558 goals in his Blues’ career – so many they named the club mascot after him!
And so many more from that select 300 Club were on show including Dave Carroll, Keith Ryan, Mark West and Matt Crossley from the hugely successful Martin O’Neill era. Len Worley led the parade of 1957 FA Amateur Cup heores along with 60s stars Charlie Gale, Barry Baker and Ian Rundle. The 70s were represented by Paul Birdseye, Micky Holifield, Howard Kennedy and Keith Mead with local boys Bob Dell and Gary Lester honoured for their matches in the 80s.
The oldest player to have accepted that first invitation was 89-year-old Frank Avery who first played at Loakes Park back in 1937. He still holds the record for most goals in a game after bagging six in the 10-1 win over Kingstonian in an Amateur Cup replay during the 1945-46 season.
That guest list a decade ago also included players from the 1940s like Peter Birdseye, Tony Chubb and Alan Gaunt, early 50s goal kings Terry Albert and Malcolm Hunt, all the surviving ’57 Cup Final side including Ex-Players Association first President Jackie Tomlin, Dennis Syrett, the Truett brothers Geoff and Jim, Wembley goalscorer Frank Smith, Cliff Trott and Mike Wicks and dozens more characters to the 90s.
Sadly, so many of those club giants are no longer with us. But we’ll raise a glass to them and to all the former players – many named above - who return to take a bow on Monday.
John D Taylor (Vice-Chairman WWEPA)
If you know someone who turned out for the Blues – first team, reserves or youth team – and who’s not yet a member, please get in touch with Alan Hutchinson on 01628 523026 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John D Taylor on 01494-562413 (email@example.com).
Apart from making full use of the hospitality box kindly donated to us on match days, our Ex-Players Association hold many other events throughout the year including popular golf, bowls and quiz dates. Fans are encouraged to mix with their heroes as we raise money for local charities and the club.
WWEPA has also decorated Monty’s Bar with memorabilia that traces the club’s history and put up photographic displays around the club pinpointing great moments and great players.
WWEPA Diary Dates 2019
Mon April 22 - Players’ Reunion (Adams Park)
Tues June 4 - 10th Annual Bowls (Wycombe BC)
Fri July 19 - 11th Annual Golf (Winter Hill)
Fri Nov 22 - 11th Annual Dinner (Adams Park)