Wolves are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward Harry Hooper at the age of 87.
Hooper, who was one of Wolves’ oldest surviving players, spent just one full season of his footballing career at Molineux but was remembered fondly for his goalscoring exploits in the First Division while wearing gold and black.
Born in Pittington, County Durham, Hooper began his playing career following the end of the Second World War, joining West Ham United in 1950 from Hylton Colliery Juniors.
Following six years and 40 league goals for the Hammers, Hooper – an England B and under-23 international – made a £25,000 move to Molineux, which at the time was not only a club record fee paid by Wolves, but also the highest ever paid for a winger in Britain.
He was a success immediately in old gold, scoring in a 5-1 home win over Manchester City on his top-flight debut for the club and highlighting his stay with a match-winning hat-trick against Preston North End in a thrilling 4-3 victory.
Hooper was a regular in Stan Cullis’ side during the first 12 months he spent at Wolves, scoring 19 goals in his 39 appearances wearing the number seven shirt, as the team finished the campaign in sixth position.
Leaving after 18 months for Birmingham City, Hooper spent three years in the second city, in which he scored in the final of the 1960 Fairs Cup, before going on to play for Sunderland, Kettering Town, Dunstable Town and Heanor Town ahead of his retirement in 1968.
“Some time after Harry turned 65 and retired, we went to live in Essex to be close to our daughter and then we went to Norfolk around six years ago after she moved there,” said Hooper's wife, Meg.
“He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in about 2011 and spent his last year in a wonderful home, where the staff were as upset as us when he passed away.
“We were married for 65 years, which doesn’t happen to many couples, and he loved football to the end. It was something he could watch and enjoy at a time when he couldn’t understand a lot of what else was going on.”
Mrs Hooper said her husband greatly enjoyed his time at Wolves and held everyone at Molineux in high regard.
The thoughts of everyone at Wolves are with Harry’s family and friends at this sad time.