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Plaque unveiled at Wolves legend Billy Wright's childhood home in Ironbridge - in pictures

By Rory Smith | Ironbridge | News | Published:

A plaque honouring Wolves and England legend Billy Wright has been unveiled at his childhood home in Ironbridge.

Billy Wright's daughters Vicky and Babette, right, with Mayor and Mayoress Stephen and Shirley Reynolds

The name Billy Wright can now be seen above the home he grew up in down New Road after an official ceremony attended by his relatives, fans, councillors and the mayor of Telford & Wrekin.

William Ambrose Wright spent his whole career playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1939 and 1959 and is the first footballer in the world to earn 100 appearances for his country.

As well as holding the record for the longest unbroken run in competitive international football, he made a total of 105 appearances for England, captaining them a record 90 times.

Billy Wright leads England on to the field before defeating Scotland 1-0

The current owners of his former house, Viv and Tony Moore, funded the plaque themselves and said it was an honour to be able to commemorate one of the greatest players in English history.

"A lot of people told us that Billy used to live here and in the end so many people told us we realised it must be true," said Viv.

"It's something we both wanted to do and we've always been quite prepared to fund it ourselves – people often stop to take a photo of the house so now this makes it seem even more official."

Billy Wright's daughters Vicky and Babette with the plaque

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Vicky Wright and Babette Woodham, Billy's daughters, were both in attendance to unveil the plaque and see where their father grew up.

Emotions ran high and tears poured while the pair listened to stories about their father and received memorabilia depicting his footballing past.

"What an honour this is, it's a bit overwhelming really," said Vicky.

"He was the most incredible person you would ever wish to meet and we are both so lucky to have him as a father.

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The plaque

"Everything he achieved as a footballer is just a bonus because really as a dad, he's the best you could have."

Babette added: "This is just wonderful. I'm sad he's not here to see this but I feel so honoured to be his daughter.

"To hear such lovely things about him, you can't help but feel proud every minute of the day.

"This plaque is beautiful and we're so grateful to Viv and Tony for organising this."

The plaque at the house in Ironbridge

This is the second plaque in honour of Billy in Ironbridge, with the first appearing at the house he was born in down Belmont Road.

After a speech from the mayor of Telford & Wrekin, councillor Stephen Reynolds, the plaque was officially unveiled.

It reads: "Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Billy Wright CBE. 1924 – 1994. Legendary football captain of England and Wolves. Lived and grew up here."

The unveiling with Billy Wright's daughters Vicky and Babette

With 490 appearances for his club, the central defensive player managed a total of 105 caps for his country.

Turning out in support were 78-year-old Tony Roden, of Broseley, and 80-year-old Keith Beddows, of Randlay, Telford.

Having supported Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1950, the pair recall watching Billy in all his glory.

The unveiling of the plaque with Billy Wright's daughters Vicky and Babette

"I remember standing in The South Bank stand and watching Billy play," said Tony.

"He really was an excellent player. They all were back in them days and I'm glad to be here to see where he grew up."

Keith added: "I used to travel from Kidderminster with my dad when the game was on. We'd have some food and then head down to the pitch and watch them. I remember watching Billy play and wow, what a player."

Billy Wright's daughters Vicky and Babette with Mayor and Mayoress Stephen and Shirley Reynolds

Former councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge and leader of Telford & Wrekin Conservatives, Nicola Lowery, said: "It's absolutely fantastic to celebrate this well renown and well regarded figure.

"He's got such a significant history in the Gorge and the wider area. It's fantastic to be able to bring everyone together. It's incredible to see people that have links to Billy all through history turn out here today."

Born on February 6, 1924 in Ironbridge, Billy also managed Arsenal FC from 1962 to 1966 before dying aged 70.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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