For young and devoted Wolves fan Logan Pope, this week’s England debut for club captain Conor Coady would have been a particularly happy moment.
Because the 12-year-old from Bridgnorth suffers from severe bouts of anxiety which have affected his life for many years, and Conor is his inspiration.
Logan, whose first ever Wolves game was the 6-4 win against Rotherham back in 2014 – not a bad one to start with! – possesses many notable talents of his own, particularly in the world of music.
And this became particularly evident when he won the recent ‘S-X Factor’ competition organised by Wolves Foundation, where he put together some lyrics to a backing track composed by Darren Matthews, a participant on the charity’s Head 4 Health project.
Logan’s Mum Pippa takes up the story.
“When we read the article where the Foundation announced the winner, and hearing what Darren said about how music is an escape for him, it made it feel really fitting that Logan won,” she says.
“Logan suffers awfully with anxiety – he’s such a peach and a real character with a huge heart, but anxiety can be so tough for him to the point where we home-schooled him for two years before he went back this time last year.
“Before that he just wasn’t getting anywhere – he was regularly fainting and collapsing – and developed phobias which he worked incredibly hard to conquer.
“We felt he was better off at home learning not just for his education but also how to cope with the world.
“Obviously the last year back at school since has been an interrupted one, but he is much better now, and will come home and talk about anything that has worried him during the day - he offloads it, we talk it through and then he goes back in happily the next day.
“And he has been doing remarkably with his music.
“Like Darren, he uses music to lose himself, and has an incredible ear for it, not only being able to read music but also play anything he has learned or written himself on the piano without any music in front of him.
“As soon as I saw this Foundation competition I knew it was perfect for him, and I forwarded the music to his phone and he came back with the words very quickly.
“Having said that, it was still a huge surprise when he won, and we had to read the email over and over again just to make sure!”
Logan, who attends Bridgnorth Endowed School and has already completed his piano exams up to and including Grade 3, is a regular fundraiser, most recently completing a ‘pianathon’ in aid of Little Rascals, the Shropshire-based charity founded by former Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards which supports children with disabilities.
Logan’s 14-year-old sister Esti is autistic, and has benefitted from taking part in Little Rascals’ activities.
“Logan and Esti have an incredible relationship – we call him her ‘translator of life’ as they are so close and he understands her on a completely different level,” Pippa explains.
“That comes with a price especially during lockdown as Logan had no space from her at all as she leans quite heavily on him.
“We also have an older son Connor, who is 21, and obviously we are proud of all three of our children.
“Logan has such a huge heart because he struggles himself but always thinks of others with his fundraisers and the way he looks after Esti.
“That is why Wolves is so important to us, because at home we have to live by the routine and rigidity that autism demands.
“Wolves is different, and with my husband Rich having to work a lot of Saturdays, I first started taking Logan with that Rotherham game all those years ago.
“Ten goals in your first game is something else, and Logan still remembers every second!
“To see him being able to cheer and shout and show all his energy, it was infectious and we have had season tickets ever since.
“I actually get emotional thinking about what Wolves means to us – it is our one-on-one time and is in our heart and soul because it gives Logan a passion and a break from his reality.
“It is like another world and means everything to us both to be able to go to the games.”
Those thoughts are echoed by the young man himself, who is as equally delighted to be a Wolves fan as he was to have been crowned S-X Factor champion!
“I love going to the Wolves games and it is time for me and Mum to spend together,” says Logan, himself a player with Bridgnorth Town Under-13s.
“I love the atmosphere and everything involved, and I also like going to the Wolves Foundation’s Soccer Schools.
“When I entered the competition, I thought Mum was tricking me and pulling my leg when she showed me the message that I had won – I felt all the different emotions!
“I do love music as I can get lost in the song I am playing and feel in a completely different world.
“I really enjoy trying to work out different songs and think about them in my head so I can then go and play them on the piano.
“I have also worked out how to play some of the Wolves songs, and Si Senor about Raul is probably my favourite!”
For winning Wolves Foundation’s competition, Logan will receive a framed shirt signed by Wolves’ first team, which brings us neatly back to the start of this article, and Conor Coady!
Because when enquiring what Mum might like for her 40th birthday not so long ago, Logan received the perhaps slightly light-hearted answer of a ‘Conor Coady shirt’!
Not to be deterred, Logan held up a poster at a home game requesting said shirt, and the skipper very generously obliged!
“It’s great that now we are both going to have a framed shirt, and it will be a reminder of the special times we share together at Wolves,” adds Pippa.
“Conor is Logan’s favourite player, and when we were home-schooling him, we used the example of Conor quite a lot.
“If Logan was anxious about something, we would talk about what Conor had done in the game at the weekend, how he had maybe reacted to a difficult situation or the team having a problem.
“Conor is quite an inspiration for Logan, and we were delighted to see him get his England debut this week which was so thoroughly deserved.”
Everyone at Wolves Foundation would like to congratulate Logan on his excellent lockdown lyrics which won the S-X Factor competition and thank him and his family for their support.