- Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Football club infobox
clubname = Wolverhampton Wanderers
fullname = Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
nickname = "Wolves"
founded = 1877 (as St. Luke's)
Molineux Stadium Wolverhampton England
capacity = 28,525
Jez Moxey| owner = Steve Morgan | manager = Mick McCarthy
league = The Championship
season = 2007-08
position = The Championship, 7th
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is a professional football club based in
Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands of England. Usually referred to by a shortened version of its name, Wolves, the club is known for its distinctive team colours and long history. The club were founded in 1877 and since 1889 has been based at Molineux Stadium.
Historically, Wolves have been highly successful, being founder members of the Football League, and winning the
FA Cuptwice before the outbreak of World War I. Wolves really established themselves as a top side under the management of Stan Cullisafter the Second World War, going on to win the League three times and the FA Cuptwice between 1949 and 1960. It was at this time that the European Cup competition was initiated in the mid-1950s after English newspapers declared Wolves "Champions of the World" following victories against top European sides. Wolves have yet to match the successes of the Stan Cullis era, although they did contest the first UEFA Cupfinal in 1972 against Tottenham Hotspur, and won the League Cup in 1974 under Bill McGarry and in 1980 under John Barnwell. Since 1984 they have, however, spent just one season in the top division.
The team was founded as St. Luke's in 1877 by John Baynton and John Brodie after a group of pupils at St Luke's school in
Blakenhallhad been presented with a football by their headmaster Harry Barcroft. Two years later, they merged with local cricketand football club The Wanderers, to form Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club was given the use of two fields - John Harper's Field and Windmill Field - both off Lower Villiers Street in Blakenhall in its early years. From there, they moved to a site on the Dudley Road opposite the Fighting Cocks Inn in 1881. The club 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.
Early cup triumphs
Wolves remained as members of the
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
The Stan Cullis era
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
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 late in the season. In this period, football played under floodlights was still a novelty. 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 "floodlit friendlies" against foreign opposition. Beginning with Racing Club of Argentina, they also played Spartak Moscow of the USSR, before meeting Honvéd of Hungary in a game televised live on the BBC. The Honved team included many of the "Magical Magyars" team who had humbled England twice. Wolves won the game 3-2, beating the Hungarian side despite having been 2-0 down at half time, which led many, including Cullis, to proclaim Wolves "Champions of the World", in spite of Honved's defeat to
:::::::::::::::::::(Gabriel Hanot, editor of L'Équipe)
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, playing as the "
Cup finals and relegation struggles
The club's return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success, finishing the 1970–1971 season in 4th place, qualifying them for the newly created
Two years later they beat Manchester City to win the League Cup for the first time. Despite relegation again in 1976, Wolves were to bounce back as Second Division champions, and three years later, an Andy Gray goal defeated reigning European champions Nottingham Forest to again bring League Cup glory to Molineux in 1980. Wolves have yet to win another major trophy.
harp decline and revival
Wolves went through a bad spell in the 1980s. After bouncing straight back from relegation in 1982, the club suffered three consecutive relegations in 1984, 1985 and 1986, sliding into the Fourth Division for the first time in their history. The nadir came with the FA Cup 1st Round 2nd replay defeat at non-league Chorley (where Wolves were defeated 3-0) in 1986. Ownership of the club changed, and
The key player behind the club's resurgence was
In 1990 Wolves were bought by lifelong supporter
The club's ageing ground was comprehensively rebuilt to meet new government inspired 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. Both of these stands were reportedly funded by the club owner. In December of that year the ground was completed when the Jack Harris Stand replaced the South Bank and the John Ireland Stand (renamed as the Steve Bull Stand in the summer of 2003) was completely refurbished by the owner.
Taylor was ousted in October 1995 after Wolves made a slow start to the 1995-96 season. His successor
Wolves were much more confident in 1996-97, but were pipped to the second automatic promotion place by Barnsley and lost to Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-finals. They reached the F.A. Cup semi-finals a year later but McGhee was dismissed in November 1998 with Wolves slipping out of contention for the play-off places. His assistant
Former Southampton manager
Wolves in the Premiership
Wolves experienced sporadic form during the early part of 2002-03, and thus were never in contention for the automatic promotion places. Following a patchy first half of the season, Dave Jones' side turned the corner with a 3-2
With key players Matt Murray & Joleon Lescott out for entire season and several others like Kenny Miller injured from the start of the season, life in the Premiership was hard for Wolves, they did not win until their eighth match. They did manage some decent results, in particular a 1-0 win over Manchester United in January, but failing to win a single away game meant that their relegation battle was ultimately lost. Wolves finished bottom of the table on goal difference, bracketed together on 33 points with the two other relegated teams - Leicester City and Leeds United.
etback and fightback
Wolves made a dismal start to the 2004-05 Championship campaign, and at one point sat as low as 19th in the table. Following a humiliating encounter with Gillingham at Priestfield, which Wolves had lost 1-0, Jones was sacked at the beginning of November with the dreaded double drop looking a real possibility.
A lack of fortitude in the striking department, a lack of passion and pride on the whole from the team, and ultimately dull, cautious and bizarre tactics from
A new approach
In pre-season 2006, Wolves cut their wage bill in half following the departure of 12 senior players, receiving a transfer fee for only two (the sales of
Former Republic of Ireland and Sunderland manager
The manager 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, losing 3-2 at Molineux and 1-0 at The Hawthorns. Goalkeeper
title = Morgan completes Wolves takeover
accessdate = 2007-08-09]
After the previous year's surprising play-off finish, hopes were high for the club to go one step further this time. However, an injury suffered by key player
The club have continued their recent policy of signing young players with potential from lesser clubs rather than pursuing their heavy investment strategy of early times. The close season saw the likes of
The season saw the club's strongest start since 1949-50, as a draw away to Plymouth was followed by 7 consecutive wins - scoring 23 goals and conceding only 7 goals in the first 8 games. That streak was ended by a 3-0 home defeat to Reading but they remained at the top of the league at the end of
An injury crisis has left the club currently without the attacking talent of
Colours and badge
In the 1950s and '60s, their signature tune was "The Happy Wanderer". Later "
title =Can we play you every week?
accessdate =2007-09-28 ] [cite web
title =Wolverhampton Council (Licensing and Environmental Protection Panel) Meeting
accessdate = 2007-09-28 ] . The tune has made occasional re-appearances at important promotion and play-off matches over the years. Wolverhampton Wanderers are now famous for running out to "
Wolves also support WolvesAid, the largest charity in football [ [http://wolves-aid.co.uk/news Wolves Aid - news ] ] , supporting both the local community in Wolverhampton, and abroad. [ [http://wolves-aid.co.uk/uganda Wolves Aid - uganda ] ]
* [http://www.wolves.co.uk Official Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. site]
*BBC Football Info|BBClinkname=w/wolverhampton_wanderers
* [http://www.soccerbase.com/teams2.sd?teamid=2848 Wolves statistics]
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