The Ballad of Steve Plant


Steve Plant with two other blokes

It was funny at the Barnsley game talking to a few really horrible people, listening to their tales of what they had been up to over the past few months. I say horrible because they are nice enough to chat to but you wouldn’t want to go out on a date with them. I get a bit emotional sometimes and my hands start to twitch over that strange dichotomy of the most evil of people you know and the most good.

Steve Plant is like that. The ‘good un’s’ so to speak. At Wolves over the past few years we have all waxed lyrical over the beauty of those people we have lost, with prepare simple eulogies for them on Social Media and print but we never seem to give those who are alive our love….not in the amounts our Steve should have.

As soon as the Carl Ikeme news was announced I like many other people fell into a kind of stand by mode. We expressed our horror and our pain at the news because we loved Carl. He was our bloke, our number 1. To get that news was a low blow especially since the season was about to start and we had all these new people rushing into the club. We needed some sort of familiar face in the side to feel ‘comfortable’ I suppose. At least from my perspective. As brave as I was, I kind of fell into a powerless kind of funk where I didn’t quite know what to do. I wrote a blog post to Carl but I was still lacking any kind of creative force to make the news digestible if you like. With the positivity that was swirling around the club it was a difficult dichotomy to try and get your head around.

But look! On the horizon! There’s a bald yedded bloke on Twitter sorting shit out. There he is again on Facebook, step forward Mr Steve Plant. There are dudes in our lives that sometimes clarify and focus the pain you feel and channel it into all sorts of weird and wonderful but positive ways. Steve grabbed the bull by the horns and instantly started to get the mass of often highly dysfunctional Wolverhampton Wanderers fan base into some sort of cohesive dynamic narrative. In other words yeah you feel the Ikeme pain, right there in your gut. The fear of illness, the illness of somebody you have the utmost respect for, somebody who always knew the Southbank had his back when he trotted up to goal. And there we all were sitting moping around changing our profile photos to one of Carl. But it was all shadows and emotion, dark clouds. Steve has gathered the fortitude and intent to change all that. He has given us a focus. That pain we feel was taken away by watching people get ‘waxed’ on ten second Twitter videos. It was taken away by watching big fat bastards taking penalties. It was done by Steve and he did it for us as well as raising money for Leukemia charities.

This shit takes hard work, phone calls, chats at the match when you should be enjoying yourself and there was Steve running around, making sure everything is in place, everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet. Working out the details of a head shave, sussing out who needs a chest wax. Haranguing people, getting in their faces to give money not because the money was important (which it is) but knowing full well we needed a positive focus, fulfilling a need for us to give something, to be seen as ‘doing’ rather than being a passive spectator. As well as that he interacted with the club too, pulling that great corporate monstrosity of a global concern into the daily lives of a supporter or a fan. Vitally important at this juncture, in fact massively important.

I love people who do stuff. There’s a meme flying around that when you watch the scenes of a great tragedy instead of focusing on the horror and  grief look for the helpers and the people working hard to alleviate suffering. Steve is that kind of bloke. The one in the background running around making sure the subs are collected. Collecting the balls that have been booted around the pitch side, folding the nets up and trudging back through the mud holding two bags of balls and a couple of nets while everybody else is sitting in their cars moaning or having a hot shower. I wish I had his energy but all I do is type away my thoughts about how I get to the match and what coat to wear. It’s easy for me but a lot harder for him.

I was thinking how funny it would be to have a kind of Southbank Resistance awards post where I make fun of what happened during the season but I think now it might make more sense to have one now seeing as I have a very clear result right now. So I would like to announce that Steve Plant is the Southbank Resistance Wolves supporter of the Year 2017-2018. Well done Steve, and no you don’t get a prize, not even a beer, but you can buy me one. But Steve from all of us thank you, you are doing us proud and even though I’m broke I’m sure I will find a crinkly well worn last five quid to bung in the pot.


7 thoughts on “The Ballad of Steve Plant

  1. Another well written piece Michael. I don’t really know Steve too well but from what I can see he’s a top bloke.

    A bloke that does things for charity and he deserves all the praise that comes his way.

    The top blokes all stack up on here, when I get to see you there will be a beer waiting for you! FWAW