It’s what fans have wanted for years. And now the rich, vibrant and never dull history of Wolverhampton Wanderers is being archived in its full glory.
The Wolves Museum, one of just a handful of football museums in the country and the first of its kind in the Midlands, will open in Nov-ember and details of its content have now emerged for the first time.
It will include four zones – history, club, sports science and games – and feature shirts, trophies, television footage and rare artefacts from the club’s 135-year history.
Fans will be able to take a virtual penalty against legendary goalkeepers such as Bert Williams or Phil Parkes, with the use of a projector screen, view videos of memorable victories against the likes of Kispest Honved from the 1950s, or read a previously unearthed player diary from a tour of countries under Nazi rule in 1938.
More than 20,000 items have been archived on a new club database in what is anticipated as being a lasting legacy from Steve Morgan’s tenure as chairman.
The database will be continuously amended, as will the interactive exhibitions in the museum, to entice supporters to keep coming back. Other highlights include international shirts from former players such as Joleon Lescott, a match card from Wolves’ first ever league game in 1888 and Wolverhampton referee Jack Taylor’s 1974 World Cup final shirt.
The museum has been rigorously planned for two years but has been a pipedream for far longer. Sophie Cawthorne, Wolves’ mus-eum and archive manager, was handed the task of bringing the project to life and has worked closely with club historian Graham Hughes.
“It’s something we hope all our fans can be really proud of,” she said. “It’s certainly unique. From what we’ve seen there’s not another football club that’s approached it in this way.”
As well as the four main zones the club’s Hall of Fame gallery will also have a permanent home in the museum.
And a separate classroom will cater for students from primary school to university age, with Wolves tailoring lessons on things such as health and fitness or the club’s history to suit specific requirements.
Tickets can be bought when ordering match tickets and the museum, which has been designed by the same company that worked on the new National Football Museum in Manchester, will take up to an hour to tour.
Sophie added: “This isn’t about us wallowing in the past. This is as much about who we are now, where we are as a club, what technologies we use, as much as the glory days of the 1950s. It’s intended to capture the essence of the football club. We want it to be a source of civic pride and we would like to think a lot of local people who aren’t football fans will come and have a look as well.”
Anyone with rare Wolves artefacts willing to donate or loan them to the museum should email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Sophie Cawthorne, Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, WV1 4QR.