Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wikis

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Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers.svg
Full name Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Nickname(s) Wolves, The Wanderers
Founded 1877 (as St. Luke's)
Ground Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
(Capacity: 29,303)
Owner Steve Morgan
Manager Mick McCarthy
League Premier League
2008–09 The Championship, 1st (promoted)
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is a professional football club representing the city of Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England, and currently playing in the Premier League. Commonly referred to by their nickname Wolves, the club was founded in 1877 and since 1889 have played at Molineux. Historically, Wolves have been highly influential, most notably as founder members of the Football League, as well as having played an instrumental role in the establishment of the European Cup, later known as the UEFA Champions League.

Having won the FA Cup twice before the outbreak of the First World War, Wolves consolidated their reputation as a top side under the legendary management of ex-player Stan Cullis after the Second World War, going on to win the League three times and the FA Cup twice between 1949 and 1960. It was at this time that the European Cup competition was established, after the English press declared Wolves "Champions of the World" following their victories against such top European and World sides as South Africa, Racing, Spartak Moscow, and Honvéd in some of football's first live televised games.[1]

Wolves have yet to match the successes of the Stan Cullis era, although they did contest the first UEFA Cup final in 1972 against Tottenham Hotspur, and won the League Cup in 1974 under Bill McGarry and again in 1980 under John Barnwell. However, a decline set in and they found themselves in the Fourth Division by 1986, before a revival and back-to-back promotions under manager Graham Turner and record goalscorer Steve Bull saw them finish the decade in the Second Division, winning the Football League Trophy along the way. Their 19-year exile from the top flight ended when manager Dave Jones guided the club to promotion to the Premier League for a solitary season, whose departure following relegation lead to a brief spell under Glenn Hoddle. However a new approach under former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy saw a three year plan which duly delivered promotion to the Premier League in 2009, this time as Football League Championship Champions.

Contents

History

Graph charting Wolves' performance from the first season of the English Football League in 1888–89, to 2007–08, when they finished seventh in the Championship.

The team were founded as St. Luke's in 1877 by John Baynton and John Brodie, after a group of pupils at St Luke's school in Blakenhall had been presented with a football by their headmaster Harry Barcroft. Two years later, they merged with local cricket and football club The Wanderers, to form Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The club were initially given the use of two fields — John Harper's Field and Windmill Field — both off Lower Villiers Street in Blakenhall. From there, they moved to a site on the Dudley Road opposite the Fighting Cocks Inn in 1881. The club then became one of the twelve founders of the English Football League in 1888 and finished the inaugural season in a creditable third place, as well as reaching their first ever FA Cup Final, losing 3-0 to the first "Double" winners, Preston North End.

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Early cup triumphs & inter-war adventures

The Wolves team that won the FA Cup in 1893

Wolves remained as members of the Football League First Division from 1888 until relegation in 1906, winning the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1-0 at Fallowfield Stadium in Manchester. Two years after relegation the team enjoyed another FA Cup win, as a Second Division club, surprisingly beating Newcastle United 3-1 in the 1908 final. After struggling for many years to regain their place in the top division, Wolves suffered relegation again in 1923, dropping into the Third Division (North). Wolves' first promotion was won just a year later, narrowly claiming the Third Division North title at the first attempt ahead of Rochdale.

Following eight more years back in the Second Division, Wolves finally achieved a return to top division football in 1932, claiming the Second Division title and another promotion. In the years leading up to the Second World War, the team became established as one of the leading club sides in England. In 1938, Wolves needed only to win the last game of the season to be champions for the first time, but were beaten 1-0 at Sunderland and Arsenal claimed the title. They again finished as runners-up in 1939, this time behind Everton, and endured more frustration with defeat in the last pre-War FA Cup Final, losing 4-1 to underdogs Portsmouth.

The Stan Cullis era & the birth of European football

"Many say Manchester United would have won the championship in 1958 if not for the Munich air crash in February 1958. They were a great side, but even if the crash had never happened, they could not have caught us. Even after the disaster we didn’t drop enough points for that to happen."

 Malcolm Finlayson,
Wolves goalkeeper and Title winner, 1958 & 1959[2]

When league football resumed in 1946, Wolves suffered yet another heartbreaking failure in the First Division. Just as in 1938, victory in their last match of the season against Liverpool would have won the title but a 2-1 win gave the 1947 championship to the Merseyside club instead. That game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, and a year later he became manager of the club. In Cullis' first season in charge he led Wolves to a first major honour in 41 years as they beat Leicester City 3-1 in the FA Cup Final, and a year later, only the goal average prevented the First Division title being won. The 1950s were by far the most successful period in the history of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the league championship for the first time in 1954, overhauling fierce rivals West Bromwich Albion[3] late in the season. Two further titles were later won in successive years, as Wolves cemented their position as the premier team in English football.

In this period, football played under floodlights was still a novelty, and the summer of 1953 saw the first set of lights installed at Molineux, which were first tested in a friendly game against a South African XI. Over the next months, Wolves played a series of famous "floodlit friendlies" against foreign opposition, and the "sheer theatre" of the football enthused many, such as the young Wolves fan George Best.[4] Beginning with Racing Club of Argentina, they also played Spartak Moscow of the USSR, before meeting Honvéd of Hungary in a landmark game for English football, televised live on the BBC. Faith in the English national team was at an all time low, and Wolves faced a Honvéd team that including many of the "Magical Magyars" team who had recently so humbled England twice, and had been 1954 World Cup finalists. In front of the watching nation, Wolves came from two goals down at half time to beat the Hungarian side 3-2, which coupled with their previous European exploits, lead the national media to proclaim Wolves "Champions of the World". This was the final spur[5] for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of L'Équipe, who had long campaigned for a Europe wide club tournament to be played under floodlights.

Before we declare that Wolverhampton Wanderers are invincible, let them go to Moscow and Budapest. And there are other internationally renowned clubs: A.C. Milan and Real Madrid to name but two. A club world championship, or at least a European one — larger, more meaningful and more prestigious than the Mitropa Cup and more original than a competition for national teams — should be launched.— Gabriel Hanot, editor of L'Équipe[6]

The UEFA congress of March 1955 saw the proposal raised, with approval given in April of that year, and the kick-off of the first European Cup the following season. The 1959 title win saw Wolves play in the European Cup for the first time, being only the second English club after Manchester United to enter. Later, Spartak Moscow, Dynamo Moscow and Real Madrid all came to Molineux and were beaten, as Wolves saw mixed successes in the European Cup against teams such as Red Star Belgrade, Schalke 04 and Barcelona, during Real Madrid's period of domination. Wolves were also League Champions in 1958 (Though Malcolm Finlayson's assertion that Wolves did not drop sufficient point after February 8th, to have lost the league to their rivals is not the case. At the time of the Munich air disaster Wolves had a 6 point lead over Manchester United. Wolves subsequently dropped 6 points and beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. on the 21st April (a reverse result would have made a difference of 8 points.) Manchester United could, in fact, have won the league but it would have been a monumental effort, almost impossible. Equally Wolves had, at the time of Munich, a much better goal average and, further, lost their final game to the bottom team in the league, Sheffield Wednesday, when the league championship had already been won.)[1] and 1959, and in 1960 became the first team to pass the 100-goal mark for three seasons in succession. Coming agonisingly close to a hat-trick of titles and the first double of the twentieth century[7], Wolves finished just one point behind Burnley and had to make do with a fourth FA Cup win, beating Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the final.

Cullis sacked, Wolves American champions

The early 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline, and Cullis was sacked in September 1964 at the start of a dreadful season during which the club was never out of the relegation zone. The club's first spell outside the top division in more than thirty years would last just two seasons, as an eight game winning run in the spring of 1967 led the way to promotion.

During the summer of 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of a fledgling league called the United Soccer Association. This league imported twelve entire clubs from Europe and South America to play in American and Canadian cities, with each club bearing a local name. Wolverhampton Wanderers, playing as the "Los Angeles Wolves", won the Western Division and then went on to earn the League Title by defeating the Eastern Division champions Washington Whips (Aberdeen of Scotland) in the championship match. (This FIFA-sanctioned league merged the following season with the non-sanctioned National Professional Soccer League, which had also begun in 1967, to form the North American Soccer League).

The Seventies resurgence

The club's return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success, with a squad that included stars Derek Dougan, Kenny Hibbitt and Frank Munro finishing the 1970–71 season in fourth place, qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. En route to the 1972 UEFA Cup Final, they beat Académica 7-1 on aggregate, ADO Den Haag 7-1 on aggregate, FC Carl Zeiss Jena 4-0 on aggregate, Juventus 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-final and Ferencvaros 4-3 in the semi-final. Wolves lost the home leg of the two-legged final against Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 (goal from Jim McCalliog) and drew at White Hart Lane 1-1 with a goal from David Wagstaffe).

Two years later in 1974 they went on to beat Manchester City in the 1974 League Cup Final, taking the trophy for the first time. Despite relegation again in 1976, Wolves were to bounce back at the first attempt as Second Division champions, and three years later in 1980, Andy Gray scored to defeat the reigning European Champions and League Cup holders Nottingham Forest to again bring League Cup glory to Molineux.

Sharp decline & revival

Wolves went through a bad spell in the 1980s, triggered by serious financial difficulties that almost resulted in the club's extinction. The club's infamous owners, the Bhatti brothers, had sucked Wolves dry, and three consecutive relegations in 1984, 1985 and 1986 saw a bankrupt Wolves slide into the Fourth Division for the first time in the club's history, the club hanging by a thread and with two sides of the decaying stadium condemned. The nadir finally came with a 3-0 FA Cup 1st Round exit at the hands of non-league Chorley in 1986.

By 1987, having been saved by the local council, Wolves began the climb away from rock bottom, with ownership of the club changed, and Graham Turner appointed manager in October 1986, shortly after the drop into Division Four. By 1989, Wolves were back in the Second Division following two successive promotions. This period included one further visit to Wembley, for the Sherpa Van Trophy final in May 1988. Wolves' 2-0 victory over Burnley drew a record attendance of 80,841, with more than 50,000 supporting Wolves.

The key player behind the club's resurgence was undoubtedly Steve Bull, who had been signed along with Andy Thompson for a combined fee of £64,000 from neighbours West Bromwich Albion. His feat of scoring 50+ goals in all competitions during back-to-back promotion-winning seasons subsequently saw him capped by England and take part in the 1990 World Cup Finals. His record of 306 goals for Wolves (250 of them in league matches) before retiring at the end of the 1998–99 season still stands as the club's record goalscorer. He is the only player to have played for England while contracted to Wolves in the last quarter of a century.

The Hayward years

In May 1990 Wolves were bought by lifelong supporter Jack Hayward. His money saw the club's aging and decrepit ground comprehensively rebuilt to meet new government regulations in the early 1990s, with the Stan Cullis Stand erected on the site of the North Bank in 1992, and the Billy Wright Stand replacing the Waterloo Road Stand in August 1993. In December of that year the renovated stadium was officially opened, after the Jack Harris Stand replaced the South Bank and the John Ireland Stand (renamed as the Steve Bull Stand in the summer of 2003) underwent a complete refurbishment.

With the stadium completed, Hayward gave the club its first substantial investment into its playing side since the late 1970s. While stadium work was prioritised in the early 1990s, the club under manager Graham Turner had consolidated in midtable but failed to make any inroads toward promotion to the top flight (now the newly-formed Premier League). The summer of 1993 saw the first recruits in a heavily-funded bid for promotion that would characterise much of Hayward's reign.

By March 1994 though, their play-off chances were fading and Turner quit, making way for former England manager Graham Taylor. Taylor ultimately served only one full season, where he took the club to their best finish in the Football League structure in over a decade, but they were denied promotion after losing 2-3 to Bolton Wanderers on aggregate in the play-off semi finals.

Taylor was soon ousted under fan pressure in November 1995 after Wolves, now bearing the burden of being promotion favourites, made a slow start to the 1995–96 season. His successor Mark McGhee inspired a brief turnaround in fortunes and as late as March they were just outside the play-off zone, but poor form returned and by the end of the season they had finished 20th — just two places above the drop zone and their lowest league finish since they slipped into Fourth Division a decade earlier. The 1996-97 season was far stronger, but they were pipped to the second automatic promotion place by Barnsley and lost to Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-finals.

Although reaching the FA Cup semi-finals a year later, McGhee was dismissed in November 1998 as Wolves were slipping out of contention for the play-off places. His assistant Colin Lee took over but the club just missed out on the play-offs. With a far more limited budget than his two predecessors enjoyed, Lee could only guide the club to a second successive 7th place finish in 1999–2000. He was dismissed in December 2000 after a poor run of form left Wolves just a few places above the drop zone.

Former Southampton manager Dave Jones was named as Lee's successor in January 2001, and Wolves improved during the second half of the 2000–01 season, but their dismal early season form counted against them and they were unable to achieve anything more than a midtable finish. The close season saw heavy investment into the team, which helped them spend much of the 2001-02 season in the top two places. However, an end of season slump saw them pipped to automatic promotion by deadly rivals West Bromwich Albion. Defeat at the hands of Norwich City in the play-off semi-finals finally put paid to their promotion hopes.

Wolves experienced sporadic form during the early part of 2002–03, and thus were never in contention for the automatic promotion places. The team turned the corner with a thrilling 3-2 FA Cup win over Newcastle United, going on to lose just two of their 20 league games after this, securing them 5th place and a play-off semi-final clash against newly-promoted Reading. Victory in both legs earned Wolves a place in the Play-off Final against Sheffield United, their first play-off final at their fourth attempt. In the Millennium Stadium-staged final, three first half goals from Mark Kennedy, Nathan Blake and Kenny Miller, respectively, were enough to earn Wolves a long awaited place in the Premiership, after 19 years in the lower echelons of English football.

Their debut season in the Premiership was tough, with key players Matt Murray and Joleon Lescott out for the entire season, and several others injured from the start. Their spending power to strengthen the team was relatively low as Hayward instead put the club up for sale. Despite these setbacks, Wolves overcame their seven game winless start, to eventually achieve some commendable results, in particular a 1-0 win over Manchester United. However, failing to win a single away game meant that their relegation battle was ultimately lost, and they finished bottom of the table on goal difference, bracketed together on 33 points with the two other relegated teams.

Despite hopes for an immediate return to the top flight, their 2004–05 Championship campaign began dismally, and at one point the side sunk as low as 19th place. Following a 0-1 defeat at Gillingham, a side Wolves had beaten 6-0 just eighteen months previous, Jones was sacked at the beginning of November.

Another former England coach was hired the following month, as Glenn Hoddle was appointed on a rolling one-year contract. Under Hoddle, Wolves lost only one of their final 25 league games, but drew 15 to finish ninth in the final table — not enough to qualify for the play-offs. Wolves then finished a disappointing seventh in 2005–06 as fan discontent grew, disenchanted with the lack of passion and pride from the team, including from Hoddle himself who had not moved to the area. Though the board expressed no displeasure with Hoddle publicly, with Jez Moxey affirming his faith in the under fire manager, the season had been frowned on by both local media and the fan base. However, few had anticipated Hoddle's sudden resignation mere moments before England's World Cup quarter-final clash with Portugal.

A new regime, a new start

Following the exit of Hoddle in pre-season in 2006, Wolves staged a complete clearout, stripping the squad and wage bill down and appointing former Republic of Ireland and Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy. Wolves therefore commenced the 2006–07 season with only the bare bones of a first team squad and with the lowest expectations around the club in years.

McCarthy acknowledged the challenge, stating to local media "The initials MM on my top stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician",[8] and quickly scraped together a squad, largely from the club's youth ranks, out of contract players and loanees. After an inconsistent first half to the season, an impressive run of form followed and the club eventually made the play-offs, despite earlier expectations. They were paired with local rivals West Bromwich Albion in the semi-finals, where they lost out over two legs.

There was further change when businessman Steve Morgan took control of the club for a nominal £10 fee in return for a £30million investment into the club, resulting in the departure of Sir Jack Hayward (who remains as Life President) after 17 years as chairman.[9] The protracted takeover was finally completed on 9 August 2007, upon which the club set out their future ethos:

It is intended that the new capital, over a period of time, will be used to help re-establish Wolves as a Premiership club. Although this is a significant amount of money there will not be an ’open cheque book’ approach to signing players; instead the club will build on the current strategy of steadily and progressively developing a team of young, hungry and talented players. — Club Statement[10]

Despite Morgan's arrival, the 2007–08 season ultimately brought more disappointment as the club failed to match the previous campaign's playoff finish. Poor form around Christmas saw them slump to midtable and only a late rally, aided by the goal power of new signing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, put them back in the promotion hunt. They finished just outside the final play-off spot on goal difference, one goal short of Watford.

Wolves Football League Championship trophy presentation at Molineux on 3 May 2009

The 2008–09 season saw the club's strongest start since 1949–50, as an opening day draw preceded a run of seven consecutive wins. Fired by the goals of Ebanks-Blake and new signing Chris Iwelumo, the club hit the top of the table for the first time in years by the end of August and never left the automatic promotion spots after. A second run of seven consecutive wins tightened their grip on the lead by Christmas.

Despite a dismal start to 2009, the equally faltering form of their rivals allowed Wolves to retain the top spot. March saw a return to form with 13 points from a possible 15, strengthening their position at the top of the table that they had led since October. Promotion to the Premier League was finally confirmed on 18 April 2009 with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers. The following week, Wolves clinched their first divisional title since the 1988–89 season.

Premier League 2009–10

Following their promotion from the Football League Championship as Champions, Wolves immediately set about recruiting for the upcoming season. Veteran American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, Sunderland utility man Greg Halford and Southampton midfielder Andrew Surman, most of whom had suffered disappointment with their previous clubs, were the first recruits.

The most high profile summer signing was the club record transfer of Irish international striker Kevin Doyle.[11] The ranks were bolstered with Serbian international playmaker Nenad Milijaš from Red Star Belgrade,[12] along with Marseille defender Ronald Zubar[13] and the season-long loan of Michael Mancienne who had played for the club in their promotion campaign. Deadline day saw the giant Austrian striker Stefan Maierhofer move permanently from Rapid Vienna and the loan capture of Ecuadorian midfielder Segundo Castillo.

After a pre-season spent partly in Australia, the season proper began with a 0–2 loss to West Ham in the club's first Premier League fixture in five years. Wolves immediately bounced back by winning on the road at Wigan despite a long injury list. A further victory against Fulham put them 12th after six games, but this was their last victory for almost two months and despite credible draws against the likes of Everton and Aston Villa, the team fell into the relegation zone, with a defence unable to keep clean sheets.

December brought three wins in four games, including a surprise away success at Tottenham, to help propel the club out of the mire. After slipping back in the relegation zone another surprise 1-0 victory over Tottenham in February lifted Wolves to 15th and brought their first top flight double since 1981, and Wolves have added a second top flight double over Burnley on March 13th 2010.

Colours & badge

City Crest.
Contemporary colours
Original colours

The first badge to be worn on Wolves shirts was the city crest of Wolverhampton, usually worn on special occasions such as cup finals. In the late 1960s, Wolves introduced their own club badge consisting of a single leaping wolf, which later became three leaping wolves in the 1970s. In 1979, Wolves changed to the now famous wolf-head badge. Its simple and stylised design made it one of the most recognisable club badges in British football and, despite a brief return to the Wolverhampton city crest in the mid 1990s, it is still in use to the present day.

The club's traditional colours allude to the city's motto "out of darkness cometh light" with the gold and black representing light and darkness respectively.[14] In the club's early days the team sported various versions of these colours including old gold and black stripes and old gold and black diagonal halves. It remains one of the most famous and recognisable strips in British football today. The traditional away colour of Wolves is all white and will be so during the 2009-10 season.[15]

Stadium

History

Molineux Stadium, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers have played at Molineux, Whitmore Reans, since 1889. Their previous home was in the Blakenhall area, and although no signs of the ground remain, a nearby road is called Wanderers Avenue. The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a local merchant who built his home on the grounds. Northampton Brewery, who later owned the site, rented its use to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1889, who had previously lacked a permanent home. After renovating the site, the first ever league game was staged on 7 September 1889 in a 2-0 victory over Notts County before a crowd of 4,000.

In 1953, the stadium became one of the first to install floodlights, at an estimated cost of £10,000. The first ever floodlit game was held on 30 September 1953, as Wolves won 3-1 against South Africa. The addition of the floodlights opened the door for Molineux to host a series of midweek friendlies against teams from across the globe. In the days prior to the formation of the European Cup and international club competitions, these games were highly prestigious and gained huge crowds and interest, the BBC often televising such events.

The old South Bank at Molineux is also historically the second largest of all Kop ends closely followed by Aston Villa's Holte End, both of which regularly held crowds in excess of 30,000.

Fluctuating attendances

When Wolves were at their height of success during the 1950s (three League Championships and two FA Cups) Molineux regularly held over 50,000 mostly standing spectators. By the time of their sharp decline during the 1980s, only the newly built 9,500-seat John Ireland Stand (now the Steve Bull Stand) and the much reduced South Bank (15,500) were in use. This reduction in capacity was due to the fact that the other two stands were wood-built and declared unsafe following the Bradford City disaster, in which a wood-built stand caught fire and killed 56 people in 1985. In the days before the Taylor Report, which required British football stadia to provide seating for all those attending, the ground had a capacity of over 60,000; the record attendance for a match at the ground is 61,315 for a game against Liverpool in the First Division on 11 February 1939.

Redevelopment

Between 1991 and 1993, Molineux was comprehensively redeveloped. The Waterloo Road stand was replaced by the all-seat Billy Wright Stand, the North Bank terrace was replaced by the Stan Cullis Stand, and the South Bank terrace was replaced by the Jack Harris Stand. By the 1993–94 season the Molineux had a 28,525 all-seated capacity making Molineux the twenty-sixth largest in English football. But by the time of the 2003 promotion, Molineux was the fifteenth largest Premiership stadium. In the previous decade, many of the smaller stadiums had either been expanded or replaced to hold a capacity of between 30,000 and 67,000 seated spectators. For the 2003–04 to 2005–06 seasons, the corner between the Billy Wright and Jack Harris Stands was filled in with temporary seating to create a further 900 seats named the Graham Hughes stand (the Clubs Official Historian), bringing the ground's capacity to 29,400. These temporary seats were removed during the 2006 close season.

Millionaire owner Steve Morgan is keen to "transform the city centre ground into a venue fit for Premiership football"[16], although the scale and speed of the expansion plans will depend on Wolves stabilising themselves in the Premier League. As a result of Wolves' promotion to the Premier League, the temporary seating will return for the 2009-2010 campaign, taking capacity up to 29,303. Morgan has stated that they want to increase the capacity to over 40,000, but work depends on the Club staying in the Premier League.

Training ground

The Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground, opened in 2005, is a £4.6m, state-of-the-art development located in Compton, Wolverhampton. The modern two-storey building stands approximately one mile to the west of the stadium, and features five high-quality training pitches, eleven changing rooms, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and a hydrotherapy pool - one of only a handful of English clubs to own such equipment.

The training ground also boasts world-class quality medical and physiotherapy facilities, being the first (and so far only) British sports club to establish a fully-accredited professional sports laboratory, based on AC Milan's Milanello model [17]. This facility features pioneering sports equipment such as VO2 max testing facilities, an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, dynamic tension isokintics, cryotherapy, dynamic ultrasound and postural sway analysis systems[18], all of which provide top-class support from players from development level right through to the first team.

Players

First team squad

As of 15 March 2010.[19]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Wales GK Wayne Hennessey
3 Cameroon DF George Elokobi
4 Wales MF David Edwards
5 England DF Richard Stearman
6 England DF Jody Craddock (vice captain)
7 England MF Michael Kightly
8 England MF Karl Henry (captain)
9 England FW Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
10 Republic of Ireland FW Andy Keogh
11 Republic of Ireland DF Stephen Ward
12 England MF Andrew Surman
13 United States GK Marcus Hahnemann
14 England MF David Jones
15 England MF Greg Halford
16 Scotland DF Christophe Berra
17 England MF Matthew Jarvis
18 Wales FW Sam Vokes
19 Scotland FW Chris Iwelumo
No. Position Player
20 Serbia MF Nenad Milijaš
23 Guadeloupe DF Ronald Zubar
25 Belgium MF Geoffrey Mujangi Bia (on loan from RSC Charleroi)
27 England DF Michael Mancienne (on loan from Chelsea)
29 Republic of Ireland FW Kevin Doyle
31 England GK Matt Murray
32 Republic of Ireland DF Kevin Foley
34 Algeria MF Adlène Guedioura (on loan from RSC Charleroi)
35 Ecuador MF Segundo Castillo (on loan from Red Star Belgrade)
36 Republic of Ireland DF John Dunleavy
37 England MF Kyle Bennett
38 England MF David Davis
39 England FW Sam Winnall
41 England FW Ashley Hemmings
43 England FW James Spray
44 England MF Nathaniel Mendez-Laing

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
21 England DF Daniel Jones (on loan to Bristol Rovers for the 2009–10 season)[20]
22 England DF Jason Shackell (on loan to Doncaster Rovers for the 2009–10 season)[21]
24 England DF Mark Little (on loan to Peterborough United for the 2009–10 season)[22]
26 England DF Matt Hill (on loan to Queens Park Rangers for the 2009–10 season)[23]
28 England MF George Friend (on loan to Exeter City for the 2009–10 season)[24]
30 Nigeria GK Carl Ikeme (on loan to Queens Park Rangers until 6 April 2010)[25]
33 Austria FW Stefan Maierhofer (on loan to Bristol City until 11 April 2010)[26]
40 England DF Danny Batth (on loan to Colchester United for the 2009–10 season)[27]
42 England DF Scott Malone (on loan to Southend United for the 2009–10 season)[28]

Academy

Wolves academy is one of the most highly regarded in the country, with several high profile graduates including Robbie Keane, Joleon Lescott and Lee Naylor. Other players have gone on to win a first team place at Molineux, including current players Wayne Hennessey, Carl Ikeme, Matt Murray and Ashley Hemmings.

Wolves academy U17s are currently Gothia Cup (World Youth Cup) champions, defeating the reigning champions Brazilian side Cruzeiro EC in a keenly contested final at the Ullevi stadium, Sweden.[29] There has also been success for the U12s as Foyle Cup finalists[30]

Other teams

Wolverhampton Wanderers Reserves play in the Premier Reserve League South. They were promoted into this division as part of the first team's promotion to the Premier League in 2009. Home games are staged at AFC Telford United's New Bucks Head home.

Wolves Women became the club's official women's team in 2008. They currently play in the Midland Combination Women's Football League, at the third tier of women's football. Their home games are held at Goodrich Sports Ground in Wolverhampton.

Backroom staff

As of 9 August 2009.[31]

Position Name
Manager Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy (since July 2006)
Assistant Manager England Terry Connor (since August 2008; formerly Reserve Team Coach)
Development Coach, 18-21's England Steve Weaver, UEFA qualified former Wrexham coach, Blackburn Rovers scout and Manchester City academy staff, appointed 2008.
Academy Manager England Kevin Thelwell, former Derby County Academy Manager, English Football's youngest ever academy manager at 32 years or age, and former UEFA A and PRO licence course director for the Welsh FA.
Assistant Academy Manager / Under-18's Coach England Mick Halsall, former head of youth at Walsall F.C., and widely regarded as one of the best youth-team coaches in the midlands[32].
First Team Fitness and Conditioning Coach England Tony Daley, former Wolves, Villa and England winger, appointed 2007.
Goalkeeping Coach Wales Pat Mountain since 2008.
Scouts England Dave Bowman (Nike network consultant and Chief Scout), Ian Evans.
Club Doctor England Dr Matthew Perry (since 2001)
Head of Medical Department England Steve Kemp
Club Physio England Alan Peacham
Masseurs England Mark James, Matt Wignall

Former players and managers

Statue of Billy Wright outside Molineux Stadium

Notable players

For details on notable former players, see List of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. players

The club has been represented by numerous high profile players over the years, most notably Billy Wright, who captained England a record 90 times and was the first player to win a century of international caps, as well as earning the Footballer of the Year Award, an accolade also won by Wolves inside-forward Bill Slater in 1960. In total, 34 players have won full England caps during their time with Wolves, the last being the club's record goalscorer Steve Bull, who appeared in the 1990 World Cup.

Andy Gray, Emlyn Hughes, Paul Ince and Denis Irwin are all previous League Championship medal winners who have also represented Wolves. Other notable Premier League players not currently playing for the Wolves who began their career with Wolves include Robbie Keane and Joleon Lescott.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers Hall of Fame has inducted the following former players:[33]

Managerial history

Wolves' most successful manager is Stan Cullis (who also served the club as a player), who was at the helm during the club's title-winning era of the 1950s. Other notable managers have included Bill McGarry, John Barnwell, Graham Taylor, Dave Jones, Glenn Hoddle and Club Hall of Fame member Graham Turner. Both Taylor and Hoddle managed the England national team before their arrival at Wolves.

Supporters

Wolverhampton Wanderers have an international support base, with supporters' clubs in Australia,[34][35] United States, Sweden,[36] Spain, Germany,[37] Republic of Ireland, Malta,[38] Iceland and Norway[39] amongst others. They have an especially large Scandinavian fanbase, due to Scandinavian television coverage of Midlands football during Wolves' dominant period in the seventies. They also have numerous supporters' clubs across the United Kingdom.

Fans' Parliament

Wolverhampton Wanderers' supporters are able to put themselves forward for selection to the Fans' Parliament which sits for two year periods at a time. The initiative, implemented in 2006, invites 35 independently-selected candidates to attend meetings at Molineux every two months. Meetings are usually attended by CEO Jez Moxey, alongside a variety of other club personnel.

Fanzine

Wolves' fanzine is called A Load Of Bull (ALOB), in part reference to Wolves legend Steve Bull. The publication was founded in 1989 and is written voluntarily by ordinary Wolves supporters. ALOB is currently edited by long-serving editor Charles Ross.

Songs

In the 1950s and '60s, the club's signature tune was "The Happy Wanderer".[citation needed] Later "The Liquidator" by the Harry J. Allstars became very popular, although use of the song ceased following a request from the West Midlands Police who claimed that obscene lyrics used by some fans[40] during the chorus could lead to hooliganism.[41][42] The tune has made occasional re-appearances at important promotion and play-off matches over the years, and a groundswell of support still exists among many supporters for its reinstatement as club anthem.[citation needed]

However, the club have since used "Hi Ho Silver Lining", a 1967 rock song by Jeff Beck, modifying the lyrics of the chorus to "Hi Ho Wolverhampton!".[citation needed] More recently, purely for the run up towards the club's 2008–09 promotion to the Premier League, the club adopted a temporary fan's anthem using a website that allowed fans to put forward their own anthem ideas, which then allowed others to vote for. This method saw "The Impossible Dream", with slightly modified lyrics, win by an overwelming margin.[citation needed] The club have now reverted back to the previous "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and for the 2009–10 season, have brought back the popular "Tom Hark" tune as goal music, last used when Wolves were in the top division.[citation needed]

Hooliganism

As with all large city teams the club attracted a number of hooligans in the 1960s. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group of teenagers calling themselves "The Subway Army" would ambush fans in the subway adjacent to the ground. They attended only selected games and many of the members claimed that they were not actually Wolves fans. Indeed, on visits to several away fixtures, including Leeds, they stood apart from the travelling Wolves supporters, and the vast majority of Wolves supporters have never had any involvement with hooliganism.

The Subway Army were eventually dissolved due to the large number of arrests and were replaced by other groups. Many of this faction were arrested in one of the nationally organised police dawn raids, under code name Operation Growth or "Get Rid of Wolverhampton's Troublesome Hooligans".[43]

Sponsorship

The club are sponsored by internet gambling company Sportingbet. In addition to becoming the official gambling partner of Wolverhampton Wanderers, the deal sees Sportingbet.com branding on the home and away kits, as well as the club website and in prominent positions around Molineux. This two-year deal began in June 2009.[44]

Previous shirt sponsors include Tatung (1982–86), Benjamin Perry (1986), Staw Distribution (1986–88), Manders Paint & Ink (1988–90), Goodyear (1990–2002), Doritos (2002–04) and Chaucer Consulting (2004–09).[15]

Charity

Wolves Aid is the biggest club charity in football[45], supporting both the local community in Wolverhampton and abroad[46] with specific focus on the disadvantaged and disabled.[47].

The Wolves in the Community scheme, which began in 1991, seeks to encourage more people to support, be involved in and play football in the community. Its initiative formed, and has sustained, the Twilight and Midnight Leagues in 1998, a social inclusion football project in areas of the city that aims to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour.[45] The project has its own Development Centre to which it invites youngsters at Under 7/8s, 10s, 12s and 13/14s levels. The teams take part in friendly matches against other development groups and teams.

Honours

In the all-time table since the league's inception in 1888, Wolves sit in the all-time top four, behind only Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal in terms of all time league position.[48]

Cumulatively, they are the eighth most successful club, behind Chelsea, with 13 major trophy wins (see English Football Records).

Uniquely, they are the only club to have won titles in five different Football League divisions,[49] and in 1988, their Fourth Division title glory made them the first team to have been champions of all four professional leagues in English football, although this feat has since been matched by Burnley in 1992 and Preston in 1996. They remain the only club to have won all top national cups (FA Cup, Football League Cup and Football League Trophy).[50]

During their 1950s domination of English football, Wolves were the first team to pass the 100-goal mark for three seasons in succession, in consecutive 1957/58, 1958/59 and 1959/60 seasons. They are also the first team to score 7,000 league goals[51] and trail only Manchester United in terms of total league goals as of the end of the 2008-09 season.[48]

League

First Division/Premier League

Second Division/Championship

  • Champions: 1931–32, 1976–77, 2008–09
  • Runners-up: 1966–67, 1982–83
  • Play-off winners: 2003

Third Division (North)/Third Division

  • Champions: 1923–24, 1988–89

Fourth Division

  • Champions: 1987–88

Cup

UEFA Cup

FA Cup

Football League Cup

  • Winners: 1974, 1980
  • Semi-finalists: 1973

FA Charity Shield

Football League Trophy

Minor honours

Texaco Cup

  • Winners: 1971

Football League War Cup

FA Youth Cup

  • Winners: 1958
  • Runners-up: 1953, 1954, 1962, 1976

United Soccer Association

North American Soccer League International Cup

Club records

Gates

  • Attendance: 61,315 — Liverpool (FA Cup Fifth Round, 11 February 1939)
  • Gate receipts: £525,000 — West Bromwich Albion (Championship play-off semi-final, 13 May 2007)

Wins/Losses

  • Best league win: 10-1 — Leicester City (Division 2, 15 April 1938)
  • Worst league loss: 1-10 — Newton Heath (Division 1, 15 October 1892)
  • Best cup win: 14-0 — Cresswell's Brewery (FA Cup Second Round, 13 November 1886)

Appearances

  • International appearances: 105 caps — Billy Wright (England, 1946–59)
  • League appearances: 501 (609 total) — Derek Parkin (1967–82)

Goals

  • League goals: 250 — Steve Bull (1986–99)
  • League goals in a season: 38 — Dennis Westcott (Division 1, 1946–47)
  • Most goals in a season: 52 - Steve Bull (Fourth Division, 1987/1988)
  • Most goals in Europe: 12 - Derek Dougan (1967-75)

Fees

External links

References & notes

  1. ^ The Daily Mail, as a prime example, published the headline "Hail Wolves, champions of the world"
  2. ^ Boyle, Peter; "Caught in Time: Wolves, 1958-59, pioneers in Europe" TimesOnline.co.uk,12 November 2006 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  3. ^ Main local rivals are West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Birmingham City; with lesser rivalries with Stoke City and Walsall
  4. ^ "the headlines belonged to my favourite team, Wolves. Even then kids liked to follow the successful team: they always appear more glamorous for that reason. I must have filled up half a dozen scrapbooks, and I wish I still had them. It was reading those reports of the Wolves games that got me hooked. I became aware of the great traditions of the Wolves team and their exploits domestically and internationally...I was originally inspired by Wolves, because of the glamorous international ties they were involved in...Wolves were one of the first to play under floodlights, and there was just an extra-special feeling about a game being played in the evening. It was sheer theatre." George Best, Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths: The inside story of football's golden era: Ebury Press
  5. ^ Matthew Spiro (12 May 2006). "Hats off to Hanot". UEFA.com. http://www.uefa.com/magazine/news/Kind=512/newsId=419682.html. Retrieved 10 July 2006. 
  6. ^ George Best, Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths: The inside story of football's golden era: Ebury Press
  7. ^ This was later achieved by Tottenham Hotspur in 1961
  8. ^ "McCarthy wants to sign old heads". BBC Sport. 2006-07-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wolverhampton_wanderers/5210290.stm. 
  9. ^ "Morgan completes Wolves takeover". BBC News Online. 2007-08-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wolverhampton_wanderers/6937817.stm. 
  10. ^ "Wolves sell to Morgan: club statement" DailyMail.co.uk, 21 May 2007 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  11. ^ "Wolves make Doyle record signing" News.BBC.co.uk (Sport), 30 June 2009 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  12. ^ Parker, Ian; "Wolves sign midfielder Milijas" Independent.co.uk, 15 June 2009 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  13. ^ "Wolves sign Zubar" PremierLeague.com, 4 July 2009 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  14. ^ Arrowsmith, Aidan; "1984: Wolves' recurring nightmare" Guardian.co.uk, 25 May 2003 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  15. ^ a b "Historical Football Kits: Wolverhampton Wanderers" HistoricalKits.co.uk (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  16. ^ "Molineux in line for revamp" ExpressAndStar.com, 10 November 2007 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  17. ^ http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~1973466,00.html
  18. ^ http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~1973466,00.html
  19. ^ "I've Got Your Number". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.. 10 August 2009. http://www.wolves.co.uk/ive-got-your-number-20090810_2264227_1749228/0,,10307~1749228~1,00.html. 
  20. ^ "DJ extends loan til end of season". bristolrovers.co.uk. 2010-03-16. http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/page/LatestNews/0,,10328~1995552,00.html. 
  21. ^ "Shackell stays". doncasterroversfc.co.uk. 2009-12-31. http://www.doncasterroversfc.co.uk/page/News/0,,10329~1919407,00.html. 
  22. ^ "Posh Sign Wolves Right-Back". theposh.com. 2010-03-02. http://www.theposh.com/page/NewsDetail/0,,10427~1981862,00.html. 
  23. ^ "QPR sign Matt Hill on loan from Wolves". BBC Sport. 2010-01-25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/q/qpr/8478849.stm. 
  24. ^ "Exeter City re-sign George Friend from Wolves". BBC Sport. 4 March 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/e/exeter_city/8550228.stm. 
  25. ^ "Ikeme To Stay A Loan Ranger". qpr.co.uk. 2010-01-29. http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~1948580,00.html. 
  26. ^ "Bristol City sign striker Stefan Maierhofer from Wolves". BBC Sport. 15 March 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/bristol_city/8569240.stm. 
  27. ^ "Danny Set To Stay For Season". wolves.co.uk. 15 October 2009. http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~1826802,00.html. 
  28. ^ "Malone Heads To Southend". wolves.co.uk. 2009-11-24. http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/News/0,,10307~1884933,00.html. 
  29. ^ "It's Just Like Beating Brazil!" Wolves.co.uk, 18 July 2009 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  30. ^ "More Cup Progress For Wolves Academy" Wolves.co.uk, 24 July 2009 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  31. ^ "Coaching Staff: Manager — Mick McCarthy" Wolves.co.uk, 6 August 2009 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  32. ^ "Halsall makes switch to Wolves" TeamTalk.com (12 August 2009)
  33. ^ "Hall of Fame". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.. http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/HallOfFameIndex/0,,10307,00.html. 
  34. ^ "New South Wolves" NSWolves.com (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  35. ^ "Melbourne Wolves Supporters' Club" Members.Optusnet.com.au/~willisam (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  36. ^ "Swede Wolves" SwedeWolves.com (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  37. ^ "Berlin Wolves" Geocities.com/BerlinWolves (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  38. ^ "Wolverhampton Wanderers Supporters Club (Malta)" MaltaWolves.blogspot.com (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  39. ^ "Viking Wolves" VikingWolves.com (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  40. ^ The offending lyrics were "Fuck off West Brom"
  41. ^ "Can we play you every week?" News.BBC.co.uk (Sport), 28 November 2001 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  42. ^ "Wolverhampton Council (Licensing and Environmental Protection Panel) Meeting" Wolverhampton.gov.uk, 21 May 2003 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  43. ^ Gary Armstrong and Dick Hobbs (1994). "Tackled from behind". in Richard Giulianotti, Norman Bonney and Mike Hepworth. Football, Violence and Social Identity. London: Routledge. pp. 196–228. ISBN 0415098386. 
  44. ^ "Exclusive: Major New Sponsor Announcement" Wolves.co.uk, 31 March 2009 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  45. ^ a b "Shortlist in Focus: Community" Football-League.co.uk 27 March 2009 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  46. ^ "Wolves Aid". Bridgemere Group. http://www.bridgemere-group.co.uk/wolves_aid.html. 
  47. ^ Wolverhampton Voice. Spring 2009. pp. 12. http://www.w-n-c.org/files/WVoice%20Winter%2011.pdf. 
  48. ^ a b "England — Professional Football All-Time Tables 1888/89–2008/09" RSSSF.com (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  49. ^ Ingle, Sean; Hughes, Matt; "Wolves: The only team to have won it all" Guardian.co.uk, 9 August 2001 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
  50. ^ "Wolves completed the set when they won the (then) Sherpa Van Trophy in 1988. Apart from four FA Cups (1893, 1908, 1949, 1960), three First Division championships (1953-54, 1957-58, 1958-59) and two League Cups (1974, 1980), the Wolves set also includes the Charity Shield (beating Forest in 1959), the FA Youth Cup (1958) and the Anglo-Scottish Cup (1971). Having also won the Second Division (1931-32, 1976-77), the Third Division (1988-89), the Third Division North (1923-24) and the Fourth Division (1987-88)", only the renamed Championship remained and was duly completed (2008-09). Bryant, Tom; Roopanarine, Les; Chesterton, George; "KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVE" Guardian.co.uk, 3 October 2007 (Retrieved: 12 August 2009)
  51. ^ "Club Records" Wolves.co.uk, 19 September 2008 (Retrieved: 17 July 2009)
Preceded by
Mansfield Town
Football League Trophy Winners
1987-88
Succeeded by
Bolton Wanderers

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