Everyone at Wolves is deeply saddened to hear that former Academy coach John Perkins has passed away at the age of 69, after a short illness.
John spent almost nine years as Assistant Academy manager and Under-18s coach, playing a key role in the development of many young players who have gone on to feature in Wolves’ first team.
He was also Under-18s coach when a Wolves side featuring the likes of Wayne Hennessey, Mark Little, Mark Davies, Stephen Gleeson and Elliott Bennett reached the semi finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2005.
All in all he chalked up 25 years experience in youth football in various roles, including at Nottingham Forest, where he learned much from the great Brian Clough.
John, who picked up all the top coaching qualifications including the UEFA ‘A’ License, also worked for Portsmouth and Derby County, and, most recently, as Professional/Development coach with Stoke City.
“We are all deeply saddened to hear the news that John has passed away,” said Wolves' Sporting Director Kevin Thelwell.
“John spent almost nine years at Molineux as one of the leading figures within our Academy, and his reputation as a top coach and within youth football in general was second to none.
“There are many players out there who have represented our first team, or the first team at other clubs, who owe a great deal to John Perkins.
“There are many of us at Wolves who worked closely with John during his time at the club, including club secretary Richard Skirrow, Academy manager Gareth Prosser, and so many more.
“And there are also several players still here who were coached by John and have gone on to forge successful careers in the game.
“As well as being an excellent coach John was also a terrific person who treated people the right way and was always available with so much knowledge to pass on to colleagues and players alike.
“If I was asked to sum John up, I would talk about how deeply he cared for all the young players that came under his guidance – he had a passion for youth football and would do everything he could to help them improve and develop both as footballers and as people.
“Everyone at the club sends their best wishes and deepest condolences to John’s son Ben, and all of his family and friends.”
John worked at Wolves from 2000 to 2009, and one of the players to emerge from the Academy during his spell at the club is current captain Danny Batth.
“John was a massive help to me during my time in the Academy, both on and off the pitch,” says Danny.
“He helped me develop my game, but was also always on hand with valuable advice and guidance, particularly when I suffered a serious injury which kept me on the sidelines for eight months during my first season as a full time scholar.
“There are many different people and coaches who have helped me through the Academy to become a professional at Wolves, and John is right up there as one of the key influences.
“I stayed in touch with him all the way through since he left the club, and I know he continued to come to our games and was at the Brentford match only three weeks ago.
“John was one of football’s good guys, and will be sadly missed, and, on behalf of all of the players, I would like to send my condolences to his family and friends.”
*John is pictured, back left, with Danny and other young players he coached at Wolves - David Davis, Johnny Dunleavy, Ashley Hemmings and Kyle Bennett - along with Kevin and then first team manager Mick McCarthy.