Wolves Club Information
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Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club are a professional football club representing the city of Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England, 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 Stadium. 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.
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.
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 under manager Graham Turner and legendary striker 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 was ended through promotion to the Premier League for the 2003-4 season, lasting only one season, though in 2009 they won promotion to the Premier League once again, this time as Champions.
They are, however, still consistently ranked in the all-time top four English teams since the league's inception in 1888, placed behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal on Football365's all-time league table.
Colours and Badge
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 moto "out of darkness cometh light" with the gold being a representation of the light and the black being a representation of the dark. 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.
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.