Small Town in Poland-Cult Hero
Courtesy of The Bishop of Bloxwich himself…
Well, what can yer say about Big Bernie, known only to Saddlers of a certain age, like 40+
and not just round the pie eatin` waist! Bernie was just unique, they bost the mould when
they made 'im. He was this sort of huge brute of a man, a wild lookin` thing like the Yetti
in the Himilayas; a sort of colossus who seemed to be ten foot tall and just as wide at the
shoulders but I guess he was really about six two or so. He had this wild, wirey ginger hair
and ginger sideboards to rival Noddy Holder, never to be seen in Armani, not
I reckon we kept him locked up for the week in a shed and teased him with raw horse meat
dripping blood and showing him pictures of the opposition to wind him up…….then you let
him out at match day to terrorise the other team and scare 'em s**tless!
Bernie was a yam-yam from Brum and he came via Paget Rangers and the Bluenoses in 1971.
His debut was also memorable in a derby game against Port Fail where we won as usual (we always beat the Fail in those days) and The Bolt scored but more significantly, he threw up
off the side of the pitch at the end of the game in full view of the crowd!!
That season we drew Everton away in the cup and they promptly gave us £40k for him
straight after the tie but he didn`t last long there after he put one on Harry Catterick the Everton manager in a training ground bost up and he soon came back for £10k!
Fact wise , The Bolt scored 48 times in 196 appearances before moving onto Bradford
Shitty and the Fail. Bernie`s most memorable goal has to be that first one against Man
Scum when we beat them 3 - 2 in a 3rd replay in 1975. Bernie teamed up with George Andrews and Alan Buckley to form a three man spearhead in his time at Fellows Park.
Whilst The Bolt was terrorising the opposition and taking blokes out the game, The Buck was scoring freely.
Bernie epitomised the sort of real player Saddlers adore, not the most skilful but bled for Walsall and would run through a brick wall, there will only ever be ONE BERNIE WRIGHT!
P.S. Why The Bolt? From that seventies programme The Golden Shot where the
catch phrase off Bob Plonkhouse was 'Bernie, The Bolt please`!