WOLVES defender Joleon Lescott shackled old mate Michael Branch on Tuesday - then admitted Keith Curle helped him do it!
Lescott's performance against Chester and former Wolves teammate Branch showed just why he is drawing admiring glances from the likes of Arsenal.
The 23-year-old is rated as the top defender outside the Premiership and is highly tipped for national honours.
Curle was reserve team boss at Wolves when Lescott was breaking through at Molineux and the youngster admits the Chester boss was a massive influence on his development.
Lescott told the Chronicle : 'Keith was a great mentor to me. I watched him playing and tried to learn as much as I could from him.
'Keith had played at the top level and it was clear the experience and knowledge he had. Everyone at the club looked up to him.
'When he was coaching me he helped me tremendously. He helped us all but especially me being a defender and I am very grateful to him.
'I try and emulate people that have played at the highest level and Keith is one of them.'
Lescott enjoyed taking on Branch, but although the two are still good friends he insisted there were no friendly favours during the game.
Lescott said: 'I wished Branchy all the best beforehand but I didn't speak to him during the game. When the whistle goes he had to get on with his job and I with mine.'
Another Wolves player who has fond memories of Curle is keeper Matt Murray, who missed Tuesday's game through injury.
Murray was breaking into the first team during Curle's spell at Molineux and although they never played a competitive game together, the young keeper often fell foul of Curle's Crazy Gang spirit on tour.
Murray said: 'He certainly gave me a few baptisms to professional life and brought me down a peg or two whenever I got a bit cheeky.
'He and Steve Bull trashed my room on one trip. They turned all my beds upside down, tied all my clothes together and stuck them out of the window. We were on the top floor of the hotel and they touched the bottom floor.
'Another time when it was my birthday, we were playing Grimsby and Curley organised it for me to be stripped down to pretty well nothing and I got thrown in the muddy sand at Cleethorpes beach. It took me about three weeks to get the smell out of my hair.
'But he's a nice guy. There was no malice in any of it - he's just a proper joker.
'It was all good fun, but when it came to a Saturday you had to be serious.'