I can't remember what year it was when I started supporting Wolves but I reckon it was around 25 years ago.
For about 20 of those years, Wolves were awful. Not bottom of the football league awful, that was before my time, but a great many fans still remember it. Awful in the sense that they were terminally disappointing. The big old club in the wrong division, always falling short despite an expensive squad and a succession of big name-managers. At times, it was embarrassing.
Then along came Mick McCarthy and supporting Wolverhampton Wanderers became an entirely different experience. Super Mick made me proud to support Wolves again.
Even before we won promotion, I was so happy to see a team of hungry young players giving their all for the old gold cause, every week. I was amazed that we were finally a team that could unearth players that nobody had ever heard of and turn them in to something special - Kightley (Grays), Henry (Stoke reserves) and Ward (Bohemians) chief among them.
Big name players dropping down from the Premier League no longer saw Molineux as a place to collect their final pay cheque before going out to pasture. And on the field the football was great.
When Mick arrived, Wolves were still owned by Sir Jack. He had decided to pull the plug on his investment following the disastrous reign of Glenn Hoddle. We didn't have enough players on the books to field a full 11. For the first time I could remember, Wolves fans acknowledged that we weren’t chasing promotion any more.
But in that first season, Wolves reached the playoffs where we were beaten by a vastly more experienced and expensive West Brom side. In the following season we missed out on the playoffs by a single point. Then in the third year of Mick’s reign we were top of the table for 42 games. We won the Championship and were back in the Premier League.
Dave Jones had got us there a few years before using the old pros method - Ince, Irwin, Cameron and Rae. We were turned over almost every week in the top flight. In McCarthy's first season Wolves finished 15th. It was the highest league finish I had ever known.
Last season was hard, as second seasons in a higher league always are. We beat Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea but it was only on the last day of the season that we secured our top-flight status. However, we actually finished the season with two more points than in the previous campaign.
This year has been hard. Mick found a way for us to score goals - a problem that we had suffered with since winning promotion. It was at the expense of defence though. We haven't kept a clean sheet now in more than 20 games. The 5-1 defeat at Molineux at the weekend was humiliating for everyone associated with Wolves. It was clearly the final straw for Steve Morgan, who had already made it clear that the league position was unacceptable after a good level of investment in the last few seasons.
For me, I still thought Mick was the man for the job. We're 18th yes, but we're on the same number of points as both Blackburn and QPR in 17th and 16th. Relegation is a real risk but still not a certainty.
I'm gutted to be losing Mick - a man who the players clearly loved, who was always honest both in the way he got his teams to play and in how he conducted himself, who brought some of the best players I have seen to the club and who brought the most success to Molineux that I have ever known. He should be applauded by every corner of the ground every time he comes back. A modern Wolves legend.
As for who will take over - the early front runners are Alan Curbishley, Steve Bruce and Neil Warnock. None of them fill me with enthusiasm. Curbishley has been out of the game for a long time, Bruce spent a fortune at Sunderland and they plummeted to the bottom of the league (O'Neill has taken over and the same players are playing like champions), and Warnock is a Championship manager - a motivator - but a pretty repulsive one.
After five years in the sun, Wolves are on the verge of another winter. I just hope it's not as long as the last one.