Let’s face it – Wolves must rank as one of the biggest clubs we’ve ever faced in a regular league campaign. Yep, even bigger than Luton Town. And no, we can’t quite believe it either. But, here, we’ve a club that went from Stoke in the Premier League to Stevenage in League One. A process that took just two years. After three terms in the top flight, Wolves sank like a stone. That’s why, in November 2013, we entered the towering arena that is Molineux – a sign of how far we’d come. And how far they’d fallen.
One of the proudest names in English football, our paths crossed briefly with Wolves when both of us were in League One. Since the 2013-4 campaign, however, our fortunes differ a little. They returned to the top flight in 2018, while we got more used to League Two with each passing season. Who knows how things will change next…
It all goes back to 1877 with this lot; Wolverhampton Wanderers formed as St Luke’s FC by two school pupils at the aforementioned school. After then incorporating a cricket club called Blakenhall Wanderers, the club started to use the current name we’re familiar with. And not even 10 years had gone by before they were announced as one of the first Football League members. It’s just a little insight into how eventful their early years were. That’s not all..
In the 1890s and 1900s, Wolves were regularly seen at the business end of the FA Cup. Twice they won it and twice they were runners-up. In the league, however, fortunes were a little sub-par. They were relegated to Division Two in 1906 and then Division Three North in 1923. Within nine years, they’d regained that lost ground and made their way back into the top flight. Going from strength to strength, they finished second in 1938 and 1939.
Losing the FA Cup final in 1939 also meant they had gone close to becoming the first side in the 20th century to do the Double. But they lost the league by four points and the final – to Portsmouth – by four goals to one.
Glory came their way after World War Two. In 1949, they won their third FA Cup title. In 1954, they claimed a maiden league championship. And they repeated the title-winning trick in 1958 and 1959. With success came forays into the cauldron of European football; the 1959-60 season proving a busy one for them. Wolves came second in the league, reached the last eight of the European Cup, and won a fourth FA Cup. Good work if you can get it.
Why do we know Wolves?
This is a long story and there are many more milestones through the 1970s and 1980s to recount. These include the 1971-2 campaign, where Wolves were UEFA Cup runners-up. Two League Cup successes are in there too. But it was proving hard to maintain their Football League presence. In 1983, they were promoted to the top flight. Five years on and they were relegated to Division Four. It was quite a fall from grace.
By the time the Premier League was invented in 1992, they’d recovered to the second tier. But it’d take them 10 years and several failed playoff bids for them to reach that new-look top flight. Sure – they were relegated in 2004, but got back into the Premier League in 2008. And yet again they tumbled out of the top flight in 2012. The difference on this occasion was that Wolves suffered yet another successive relegation; down into League One.
How to get to Wolverhampton Wanderers – Travel Information – Distance: 114 miles
From Stevenage, head northbound on the A1/A14 or M1; whichever you prefer when heading for the M6. Once on the M6, continue on the old stretch of the motorway that takes you through Birmingham until you reach Junction 10.
At Junction 10, exit onto the A454 for Walsall and Wolverhampton (Central/East). Take the first exit at the roundabout onto the A454 Black Country Route for just over a mile. You’ll come to Keyway Junction, where you want to follow signs for Wolverhampton.
Take the second exit at the roundabout onto A454 The Keyway and over the next roundabout that you encounter on the 3.3-mile section of road. Turn left for Middle Cross (again, the A454) and at the next roundabout, take the fourth exit for the A4150 ring road. After 0.9 miles, turn right onto Waterloo Road.
There are signs that will direct you towards football parking, but you can also find spaces in the central pay and display car parks if you so desire.
Services to: LONDON EUSTON
Wolverhampton station is served by direct trains from London, but there is a chance you may have to connect at Birmingham New Street too. The station, meanwhile, is a 15-minute stroll from the ground.
From the railway station, exit onto Railway Drive and continue along as it crosses over the Ring Road below. This will become Lichfield Street, but carry on regardless until the junction with Princes Street.
Turn right onto Princes Square and then left onto Wulfruna Street at the roundabout. Make your way past the university and onto the Ring Road, before turning right onto Waterloo Road and up towards the ground.
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