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Wolves


Ron Flowers in '66, one of Crook's great players.
Ron Flowers in '66

The Wath Wanderer

Without Mark Crook, the history of Wolverhampton Wanderers would probably be very different. Listen to Dan Wheeler's BBC WM documentary...


TO LISTEN TO THE BBC WM WATH WANDERERS DOCUMENTARY, CLICK THE LINKS ON THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE>>

A question for West Midlands football fans. How many of the following have you heard of?

Ron Flowers, Roy Swinbourne, Peter Knowles, Bob Hatton, Alan Sunderland, Mark Crook...

Chances are, the last one's a bit of a mystery?

But the truth is, without Mark Crook the history of Wolverhampton Wanderers would probably be very different. A former player at Molineux, he worked as a scout for Wolves and established a highly productive nursery club fed by the rich seam of talent in the Yorkshire area.

For nearly thirty years Wath Wanderers churned out some of the greatest names ever to play for Wolves. Flowers, Swinbourne, Hatton, Knowles and Sunderland were among its graduates.

He discovered Alan Ball and Bob Wilson and recommended the Charlton brothers - only for them to be either rejected or lured away by other clubs.

His story is one of commitment, of compassion, of instinct - but remains largely untold... until now.

BBC WM's Dan Wheeler looks at the life, and the need to acknowledge the impact of, Mark Crook: the Wanderer from Wath.

TO LISTEN TO THE BBC WM WATH WANDERERS DOCUMENTARY, CLICK THE LINKS ON THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE>>

The documentary is approximately 49 minutes in length, cut into two pieces of roughly equal length.

last updated: 02/06/05
Have Your Say
Do you remember the Wath Wanders' players? Did you know Mark Crook? Have your say...
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The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Jane Ellis (nee Walters)
I haven't heard the broadcast, but have had this site pointed out to me because my father, Henry Walters, was also discovered by Mark Crooks. He went on to play for Wolves Juniors, Walsall and Barnsley. Much of my childhood was connected to football thanks to Mark, and I still have a great interest. The name Mark Crooks, and others discovered by him, have always been very familiar to me, and he was greatly respected.

Carl Horsley
Ron Flowers is my great uncle, i havent spoke to him in a while, and i would love to get back in touch

Mr Harper
Thank you for this. My grandad used to talk about him but being abit naive when i was younger i didnt know him so i didnt listen. Wish i had have listened now. maybe i would have had a story to tell. Jane.....he sounds like a gentleman, i would also be very proud.

Jane Whitlam
I m Marks grandaughter and I m very proud of all the positive feedback we ve had since the radio documentary, about my grandfathers life. I know he would be so proud to know his work had been recognised.

Mr Warren
I've just come across Dan Wheeler's audio commentary on Mark Crook. I am 81 years old and must be one of the few left who played for Mark when he first set up his junior team. My memory fails me on the exact date but I think it must have been in the early war years when we played our first games in the village of West Melton adjoining Wath on a pitch which was far from level and jammed between the canal and a railway line. One or two of the names who started with him, Johnny Wardle of cricketing fame and had a kick like a donkey, and was good enough to be taken on trial with Wolves, got some experience of the pro game against one Sherwood when he declared 'if that's pro football count me out'. Another lad was one Henry Walters who went to Walsall and then on to Barnsley. Another name George Robledo was another of the local lads we kicked about with, he lived not 200 yards from the pitch but for some reason I could never understand went to Barnsley instead of with Mark. Might I just add that Mark was one of the most genuine people I have ever met and gave me some of the most pleasurable memories of my life.

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