Wedding means Wolves fan misses first home game in 37 years

Peter Abbott at Wolverhampton Wanderers
Image caption Peter Abbott last missed a match at Molineux on 16 March 1976

A football fan's record of not missing a home game since 1976 is ending this weekend.

Wolves fan Peter Abbott, from Ipswich, will not be at Molineux for Saturday's match against Coventry because he will be at his stepdaughter's wedding.

Mr Abbott, who has a regular 330 mile (530km) round trip to Wolverhampton, said he was gutted when he realised.

"I've been getting my head round it for eight months, but I'm past that now," he said.

Mr Abbott, 56, grew up in east London and said he fell for Wolves via the television and magazines and first saw them at West Ham in 1970, when they lost 3-0.

He regularly started going to Molineux in the 1975-76 season and the last game he missed there was against Tottenham on 16 March 1976, which Wanderers lost 1-0.

'Falling in line'

He said he has seen 1,902 home and away matches since then and only missed one (at Blackburn in 1985, when Wolves lost 3-0) and that was because his train broke down.

"I wondered if the Coventry fixture would change for television, but as it was getting nearer the date I realised that wasn't going to happen and, unless there's an unbelievable weather occurrence, the match will go ahead without me," he said.

Image caption Derek Dougan was one of the early 1970s Wolves players who inspired Mr Abbott to support them

"It's quite clearly Sarah and Jonno's day and I'm happy for them and I'm falling in line with that."

He said he would not be attempting to listen to any commentary during the service, where Sarah Butler will marry Jonathan Liddle, and which starts at 14:00 BST at Haughley near Stowmarket, but he would try to stay informed by texts after the 15:00 kick-off.

Mr Abbot said the three Vauxhall Astras he has owned in the past 20 years have each clocked up more than 330,000 miles for football, work and other pleasures.

He said he would be "back in the saddle" for Wolves's home game against Oldham on 22 October.

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