There was a distinguished pre-match turnout in the previously named Paycare Lounge on Saturday, tucked away on the concourse of the Stan Cullis Stand.
A fitting tribute to the renaming of the lounge after Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, and a fitting tribute to such a wonderful lady.
Paycare CEO Kevin Rogers agreed to the change suggested by Wolves Managing Director Laurie Dalrymple, and the club’s back-of-shirt sponsor will continue their support of what is now called the Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint Accessible Lounge.
It is a place where Wolves’ disabled fans have gathered on a matchday for some 20 years thanks to an idea first thought of by Sir Jack Hayward and then nurtured and developed by Rachael.
And provides the perfect tribute to Rachael, who passed away in January.
“Rachael was also the Paycare President,” Kevin explains.
“And I can still remember the telephone call from Laurie when he said that there was an internal discussion at the club about how best to honour Rachael.
“He asked if we would consider changing the name of the Paycare Lounge to include a name which would honour Rachael.
“It is probably the quickest decision I have ever made – what a fantastic idea!”
Laurie describes how important it was for Wolves to fully honour Rachael’s incredible legacy.
“When Rachael passed away we wanted to ensure that we gave fitting recognition to her legacy within the club and within the city,” he says.
“We brought in a Community Award in her name which was first awarded to Keith Berry in May, and then had the idea of renaming the Paycare Lounge as well.
“Given her passion for supporting and giving her time and love to Wolves fans and residents of the City with disabilities, it was felt that this was another really appropriate way to honour her legacy.
“Everyone who comes through the lounge in the coming years will hopefully understand more about Rachael and the work she did in terms of caring for, looking after, and supporting everyone within the local community, especially those with disabilities."
Kevin and Laurie both spoke at the official unveiling of the renamed lounge prior to the victory against Millwall, which was attended by Rachael’s daughter Rowan.
Supporters who use the lounge were also joined by Wolves chairman Jeff Shi, directors John Gough and John Bowater, vice-presidents Ron Flowers, Steve Bull and Robert Plant, Wolves Community Trust general manager Will Clowes, Sporting Director Kevin Thelwell, Club Secretary Matt Wild and former Club Secretary Richard Skirrow.
Memories of Rachael were never too far away.
“She was such a fantastic character, and also a great confidante,” said Kevin.
“It is such an honour for all of us at Paycare to be associated with Rachael in the naming of this lounge.”
“A pocket rocket,” was Laurie’s description.
“So utterly determined, committed, loving, fiercely loyal and funny.
“Rachael was an absolute warrior who anyone would want on their side – she had everyone’s back.
“She loved her family and friends, her city and her club, and was an absolutely lovely person to know.”