Richards' pride at Wolves memories

IT MAY be 20 years ago to the day but former Boro defender Steve Richards remembers how proud he was to lead his side out for their first ever game in the Football League.

Richards, who is now boss of Boro's NCE premier division rivals Hall Road Rangers, was skipper for the huge clash with Wolves at the McCain Stadium which ended in a 2-2 draw on August 15 1987.

He said: "The first thing I can remember about the day was how many stewards and staff there were when we arrived at the ground and how professional the club seemed.

"We had come up from the Conference as champions and wanted to act like a League club and there was a brilliant atmosphere. Leading the side out as skipper under a great manager like Neil Warnock was a proud moment and to see a packed crowd was brilliant."

Richards added: "The game wasn't too bad and we played well enough to actually win it.

"Ray scored a scorcher to make it 2-2 late on and I remember he had a very good game. At the end of the match in the dressing room we all felt good about the performance and I think not losing against a big club like Wolves set us up for the rest of the season.

"We finished 12th that campaign and it was important that we did not go back down and overall we matched most of the sides in the division."

One thing to spoil the day somewhat was the actions of some Wolves supporters.

Richards recalls: "We were getting ready for the game and heard about the chap falling through the cow shed roof.

"A few of us went out to see what was going on and there was quite a lot of chaos in the stands but we just had to try and concentrate on the game ahead and credit to the lads for doing that.

"A lot of the players such as Mitch Cook, Kevin Blackwell, Neil Thompson and Ian Bennyworth I still keep in touch with and I had some great times with Boro.

"It was a real family club and there was a fantastic atmosphere among the staff and the supporters."

Boro team v Wolves: Kevin Blackwell, Les McJannet, Neil Thompson, Ian Bennyworth, Steve Richards, Paul Kendall, Stuart Hammill, Ernie Moss, Ray McHale, Stuart Mell, Tommy Graham.