In the mid-1990s, Tony Daley, Steve Froggatt, and Neil Emblen were central figures in Graham Taylor’s strategy to promote Wolverhampton Wanderers. Later, as more weaknesses surfaced and funds were still available, John de Wolf, Don Goodman, Dean Richards, and others joined the club.
It’s not entirely far-fetched to speculate whether, in addition to these acquisitions, Graham Taylor might have considered adding John Ebrell, Rod Wallace, Lee Sharpe, and even Alan Shearer to his squad during his time as manager at Molineux.
John Ebrell was a midfielder for Everton and an England U-21 captain who Taylor spoke highly of in a book he co-wrote with Midlands journalist Dennis Shaw in 1991, during his early tenure as the England manager. Taylor described Ebrell as “shaping up extremely well” and “a player’s player.” While Ebrell never received a senior England cap, his footballing pedigree is evident through his subsequent roles in scouting and coaching, even after retiring at the young age of 29 due to a knee injury.
Recognizing Taylor’s preference for dependable players over mavericks, it’s plausible that he had kept Ebrell in mind when he returned to club management with Wolves in 1994.
Rod Wallace, known for his electrifying pace, also had a promising career, although he never progressed beyond under-21 and B caps for England. He enjoyed successful spells with clubs like Southampton, Leeds, Rangers, and Bolton. It’s conceivable that he might have been on Wolves’ radar had they achieved Premier League status in the mid-1990s.
In a book titled “When England Called,” co-authored with his friend Dennis Shaw, Taylor frequently mentioned players like Lee Sharpe and Alan Shearer, who presumably remained beyond Wolves’ reach due to their inability to offer Premier League football.
Alan Shearer moved to Blackburn in 1992, the summer they were promoted to the top flight, and later joined Newcastle United after winning the Premier League title.
It’s been 30 years since Taylor resigned as England manager and nearly 28 years since his tenure as Wolves’ manager came to an end. A curious coincidence is that Dennis Shaw, who was a freelance journalist working for the national press at the time, was one of the reporters outside Molineux when Taylor’s departure was confirmed in 1995.