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A Golden Memory!

PUBLISHED

11:17 6th August 2014

When athletics sensation went for a 'tie'......

Wolverhampton’s Matthew Hudson-Smith struck gold in the Commonwealth Games when running a superb anchor leg to steer England’s 4x400 metre relay team to glory at Hampden Park on Saturday.

But there is also a very little bit of the 19-year-old’s history that is also tinged with gold, as was recalled by several of a Wolves persuasion as they watched on television.

Because it is just over a decade ago that Hudson-Smith arrived at the club’s Academy – all for the price of a standard Wolves tie!

Bob Pitt, who has worked in youth football throughout his life, was running a team called Warstones Wanderers for whom a young Hudson-Smith – who runs for Birchfield Harriers - had been playing for about a year.

Then, along came a Wolves scout, who liked the look of what he saw.

“We’ve always taken on a lot of players who just want to play football,” said Bob.

“Matt came to us and I always remembered him because he was so fast – so we played him on the wing.

“Then after a year or so, a Wolves scout came to watch, and he thought they would be able to ‘tidy his feet up’ as they say.

“I said he could only take him if he gave me his Wolves tie, and at first he was reluctant, but eventually I persuaded him.

“I’ve always been a massive Wolves fan and it’s a tie I still wear regularly to this day.”

Wolves’ asssitant recruitment officer Bob Bennett also remembers the young Hudson-Smith.

“He was with us for a year or so through to Under-10 level,” says Bennett.

“And when my phone went on Sunday morning, I knew straightaway that it would be Bob!

“We could tell even then that Matt was always going to be something within sport.

“Maybe he wasn’t going to be a footballer, but he had plenty of other attributes, and it is great to see him go on and be such a success.

“We’ve still got his details on our file, and pictures of the squad he was in, which also included Jonathan Flatt.”

Pitt has worked with hundreds if not thousands of youngsters through his work with wife Mavis and the Warstones Wanderers – now Wolverhampton Olympic – football teams.

Jamie Reckord was another to have been snapped up by Wolves.

And anyone in the vicinity of the Pitt household on Saturday evening may well have heard a fair bit of cheering coming from within!

“I bumped into Matt’s Mum a while back who said he was going to the Commonwealth Games and then he popped up as the anchor leg in the relay,” adds Pitt.

“At first I was like ‘come on Matt’ fairly quietly, and then I was getting louder and louder as he went down the home straight, so much so that I thought we’d end up with a few complaints from the neighbours!

“I was really excited, I still am now – it was wonderful to see him come through to take gold.

“I had nothing to do with his success, I just encouraged him for a short time and his athletics coaching have turned him into the athlete he is now.

“But you never forget the lads who you have coached, even all those years ago.

“He was always such a nice lad and you could see from how he was on the podium – he didn’t really seem to know what to do – that he is still really humble.

“He is such a great credit to himself and to his family.”

 

*Hudson-Smith is pictured on our main pic, taken by photographer Pete Harrington, fourth from the right on the back row.  Current professional keeper Jon Flatt is centre, front, while Dominic Dell, another who made it through to being a full time scholar at Wolves, is on the right of Hudson-Smith.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BBC'S RE-RUN OF HUDSON-SMITH'S MEMORABLE RUN

 

 

 

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