Shrewsbury Town legends Ken Mulhearn and Steve Cross enjoyed an afternoon at Normanton Retirement Home last week, as they went along with Shrewsbury Town in the Community. In our latest edition of Meadow Memories, where we take memorabilia out to several care homes across the county to remind ourselves of the ‘good old days’, we saw a familiar face greet us with a few stories and scrapbooks of his own! Peter Dolby, a resident at Normanton, met with Ken and Steve once more, to reminisce about their successful playing days in Town shirts.
The former Town defender brought several photos and nostalgic items to our attention, including a letter addressed to him from a young Steve Cross, asking for advice on a career in football and a trial at Town! Steve remembered the letter like it was yesterday, and insisted that if it hadn’t been for Peter’s response, he wouldn’t have achieved what he had in the game. You will see former goalkeeper Ken Mulhearn’s face on the outside of Greenhous Meadow these days, marking his 400 appearances and legendary status at the club. Several of those appearances came with Peter, and the pair spent the afternoon looking through old shirts and team photos, and agreed the team spirit shared amongst the squad would be head and shoulders “above what you would see in today’s game.” Peter notched over 300 Town appearances of his own, and it was his exploits in the cup for which he is most fondly remembered.
One of the photos he proudly presented to us was from when he earned the “Dolby 2 Everton 0” headline in the papers, after his brace knocked out the Merseyside club in the 1961 League Cup. Ken, Steve and the Community’s Health and Inclusion Officer Amy Edwards also spoke with the other residents of the home, and they too had some fond Town memories to look back on. Ken could not hide his delight at being reunited with his former team mate, and was pleased that the afternoon spent with the residents had gone down so well.
“You can’t imagine how nice it is,” he said after the visit. “I’m 72 coming up now, I played with Peter and now work with Shrewsbury Town and it really does help to see the old players. When you get to these homes and you see Peter Dolby, I think we give them a lift. We told plenty of jokes, as you know I do! Peter said as he was leaving how much he enjoyed it so I feel that we’re doing a good thing. We don’t just sit there and we get round everyone, not just the players and most of it’s sensible – except for me! I certainly feel that I’ve enjoyed Shrewsbury, I’ve lived here for many years and I feel as if I’m putting something back. I’ve done a few Meadow Memories and when I found out Peter was here I thought he’s been a stalwart, so I put it to Amy and she organised it. He was a stalwart, he was nothing flash. He could play it, he could head it, and you could rely on him to give a good account of himself every game. He was a pleasure to play with, and he always gave it his best. I think Peter should be proud of himself because that’s the way he came over to ex players, and the crowd as well.”