Farewell Eddo!

Dave Edwards has seen many ups and downs during an eventful nine-and-a-half years at Wolves. Experienced journalist Bill Howell saw a fair few of those during his time covering Wolves. Here is his take on the midfielder's Molineux career.

“He is the type of fella you could share a packet of biscuits with, or take home to meet your daughter.”

I used to say this to Mick McCarthy back in the day. I repeated it to Terry Connor, and to Stale Solbakken, although I think it flew over his head.

I'd mention it to Dean Saunders and Kenny Jackett too.

Just a proper nice bloke. Far too polite to be a footballer.

If you didn't know him and bumped into him in the street he would say 'hello' and more than likely he would comment on the weather too. Sure he has the blonde hair and blue eyes but you would presume him to be a school teacher. In his spare time he'd bag pack in supermarkets for pensioners, probably.

I got to know Dave Edwards shortly after he signed for Wolves in 2008. I was handed the Wolves gig at the Birmingham Mail after an eternity of covering Aston Villa.

It wasn't long before Mick McCarthy turned that job into a stroll and players like Edwards, Carl Ikeme and Jody Craddock turned it into a breeze.

I still chuckle as I recall an interview I did with him in a Stirling hotel reception in 2014. The World Cup was centre stage and Wolves were spending a few days north of the border ahead of a week-long stint in Ireland in preparation for their return to the Championship.

Now, whisper it quietly, but I'd spent all afternoon in a public house on Italian beer, killing time whilst the players trained. I turned up at the hotel, shadow-boxed with Ikeme in the corridor, greeted Matt Doherty like my long-lost brother and then took to interviewing Edwards about a new contract, a wedding to long-time partner Emma, injury problems of old and fatherhood.

'Affable' doesn't do the man justice. It was like talking to a relative. He'd allow a stranger a glimpse into his personal life, he'd open up about his frailties. All this in an age where footballers are supposed to answer with a turgid: 'It's going to be tough...', 'We're delighted with the win...' or 'We're going to do it for the fans.'

Edwards deserved a bigger profile. He was a special player in a workmanlike McCarthy team but his problem with that he didn't have a name like 'Edwardsio' and he wasn't born in Spain He was signed from Luton and not Levante.

He'd rarely shy away from post-match interviews, even in the tough times. But he'd rarely grab the attention of the national papers who'd sooner court the £10 million centre-forward or the aforementioned high-profile arrival who may have scored a belter on the day but wouldn't have trained half as hard as Edwards, or run half the distance.

He was then, and remains, a clever player. A box-to-box midfielder who can also pick a pass, threading a ball through the eye of the proverbial needle. He would walk into most Championship clubs. Not that Edwards is ever interested in walking. He'd be sprinting at the head of any queue.

There he is.... 32nd on the list of all time Wolves appearances with 307 games and 44 goals.A runner-up in last season’s Supporter and Player of the Year votes to Helder Costa.

But it is the person and not the player that I will remember so fondly.
That rare breed of a player who will want to make a personal check on the football supporter child, ill in hospital. The person who would take the trouble to hand-craft a meticulous note to a fan.
Edwards has also launched the Little Rascals Foundation with a childhood friend, raising money to help disabled children to lead better lives.

That is just a small measure of a wonderfully popular individual who has left a huge mark on the dressing room and the hearts of the supporters who were lucky enough to cross his path.

'You could share a packet of biscuits with him, or take him home to meet your daughter..' I'd say to Mick McCarthy et al. Salt of the earth you might say.