By Hayley Pugh
A huge fan of newly promoted Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers has painstakingly recreated their stadium – with matchsticks.
Chris Jepson, 71, spent 500 hours over an 18 month period building the mini Molineux ground.
The model is four foot long and two-and-a-half foot wide and depicts the ground during the club’s golden era in the 1960s.
Chris, a retired accountant, also used lollipop sticks and other bits of wood as well as matchsticks in the delicate artwork.
He worked on the model while receiving treatment for prostate cancer and now hopes to sell it off for charity.
Chris, from Kidderminster, Worcs, said: “I’ve got no idea of valuation. I have spent quite a bit of time on it and a bit of money.
“I’m quite proud of it. People that have seen it think it’s wonderful but my wife keeps saying ‘I wouldn’t have the patience to have done that’
“My first game was against Bournemouth in the FA Cup in 1957 – the goalposts fell down in the first-half.”
“I always loved the old Wolves Stadium. It fascinated me – it was unique.
“All the really good times happened then – championships, cup wins, European matches under new floodlights and atmospheres beyond belief.”
He used to go to Molineux since he was 12 and was a season ticket holder with his wife Christine for more than 20 years in the Steve Bull stand.
The ground has since been rebuilt but Chris dug out his collection of old Wolves books and magazines to give him an idea of the stadium’s architecture from the 1950s through to the 1970s for the build.
Coffee stirrers were used to create the seats and tiers on the terraces, while rabbit hut wire was used for the barriers in the North Bank and South Bank.
Having suffered with prostate cancer since 2004 and undergone numerous operations and treatment procedures, he now wants to sell his creation to raise money for cancer charities.
Chris said: “I’ve got 40 or 50 Wolves books. I scaled it up on paper. I did my own drawings and built it from those.
“The toughest part was the finer detail of the barriers and doing the seating areas in the two side stands.”
He is now celebrating after Wolves were promoted to Premier League at the weekend and look to finish top of the Championship.
Chris said: “This season I have watched when I can on the TV. I think it’s brilliant. I have never seen football like it by Wolves.
“They are the Manchester City of the Championship.”
He is now cancer free and has no intention of building the new Molineux.
Chris added: “It’s been the most complex of things I’ve ever done. It’s not something I could ever do again.
“I want to auction it off to give something back to those who have helped me.
“I’ve been through hell and back in the last few years with cancer and operations related to it.
“In terms of doing a model it’s the only one I’ve ever wanted to make.
“Hopefully it will finish up in the home of somebody that will appreciate it.”