Paul Bradshaw was in goal when Wolves lifted their most recent major trophy, keeping a clean sheet against the might of Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in the 1980 League Cup final.

Shutting out the European champions of the time may have been his finest hour, but it was very much par for the course during an overall spell at Molineux when he was regarded by many as one of the best goalkeepers in the country.

Sadly, ‘Braddy’, as he was known by team-mates, has passed away at the age of 67, and, with his loss, departs a player who was hailed by many Wolves fans as among their favourites from the era, not to mention twice being voted the club’s Player of the Season.

“Paul was a great success at Wolves from the moment he signed from Blackburn,” recalls Wolves legend and now chairman of the Former Players Association John Richards.

“He was undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in England at the time and, of course, his brilliant performance in the 1980 League Cup Final helped us win the trophy.

“We know he’d been having some serious health issues, but his death is a sad loss to all his former colleagues, and we send our condolences to his family and friends.”

Bradshaw, as Richards mentioned, joined Wolves from Blackburn, where he had come through the ranks as an apprentice and impressed to such effect that he featured in the first ever England Under-21 fixture, a 0-0 draw against Wales, ironically played at Molineux just less than a year before it became the keeper’s home.

Rovers were in the Third Division at the time, but Bradshaw’s performances attracted the attention of then First Division Wolves, who made the Altrincham-born gloveman their record signing, for £150,000, in September 1977.

He would go on to make 243 appearances in the Wolves goal, putting him 50th in the all-time list and the club’s fourth most-used goalkeeper, behind Mike Stowell, Bert Williams and Phil Parkes.

Geoff Palmer, one of those playing in the defence in front of Bradshaw during that 1980 League Cup Final, was also his roommate, and has fond memories of time spent with his team-mate and friend.

“I was his roommate and we got on well together on and off the pitch,” says Palmer.

“Braddy had got everything for a goalkeeper – he was slim, about 6ft 4in, and had an incredible left foot which could ping half volleys about 60 yards to land right at your feet.

“He was a very good trainer, he would command his area and his six-yard box, and was just a top-class goalkeeper.

“As defenders, we were always so confident in him and comfortable playing in front of him.

“I know it was a club record fee but to get him for £150,000 from Blackburn was a steal with how he played for Wolves over so many years.

“He made sure he enjoyed life but he was very easy-going, a nice bloke who wasn’t argumentative and never gave a manager any problems.

“We’d room together before away games and I always remember chatting to him the night before the League Cup final when he was very confident that we would do the business – and he went out at Wembley and kept a clean sheet.

“It’s a really sad loss.”

It wasn’t just in the League Cup final itself that Bradshaw helped Wolves pick up that particular piece of silverware, fans especially remembering him coming to claim a last minute John Robertson cross in typically confident fashion when Forest had been piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

He had also played in every round through the competition in a season in which he chalked up 51 appearances in total.

Another notable contribution came during the fourth round replay at Queens Park Rangers, when two world class saves from Paul Goddard in injury time helped book Wolves’ passage to the quarter finals.

Aside from that League Cup triumph, and the sixth-place finish in the First Division in that 1979/80 season, Bradshaw was the commanding last line of defence who also helped Wolves reach two FA Cup semi-finals and play in European competition.  He was Player of the Year in both the 1980/81 and 1981/82 campaigns.

Had it not been for the excellence of other English goalkeepers of the time, led by Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton, Bradshaw would surely have been in the conversation around his England Under-21 honours being transferred to senior level.

Bradshaw departed Wolves in 1984 for a new adventure with Vancouver Whitecaps in the North American Soccer League, later returning to England to play for West Bromwich Albion (twice), Bristol Rovers, Newport and Peterborough.

Whilst he was at Newport, he played against Wolves on the night a Steve Bull brace and third from Andy Mutch secured promotion from the old Fourth Division at the start of the Molineux revival.

Of course, he wouldn’t have been happy to have conceded those goals, but the away contingent of Wolves fans will have been pleased to see him in action given his huge popularity during his time at Molineux.

“Paul will always be remembered as a popular and integral part of that squad who made it such a memorable day for thousands of fans at Wembley in 1980,” added Wolves FPA Administration Manager Richard Green.

“It is a sad loss, particularly for those team-mates, many of whom are involved with the Former Players Association, but also for supporters who retain such fond memories of a keeper who contributed so much during his time at Wolves.”

Bradshaw leaves his ex-wife Sandra, sons Ryan and Greg, daughter Dayna and six grandchildren.

Everyone at Wolves FPA would like to send their sincere condolences to all of his family and friends.