Big birthday for Molineux

Molineux, The Golden Palace or even The Custard Bowl - it doesn't matter what you call it, next week marks 125 years since Wolves moved in to their famous home.

It was on September 7 in 1889 that the lads in gold and black played their first league game at the Waterloo Road stadium in a 2-0 victory over Notts County.

Since then, Molineux has established itself as one of the most iconic football arenas in the country.

Rich with history, it has hosted World Cup qualifiers and classic FA Cup ties but the televised floodlit European nights of the 1950s were where Wolves and Molineux became household names.

For more than 100 years, fans have cheered, laughed, cried and thrown the odd verbal dagger at opposing fans and a referee or two.

The statutes of greats Billy Wright and Stan Cullis stand proudly outside the stadium and in 2003 a more recent legend, Steve Bull had a stand named after him.

There have been the cult heroes of Derek Dougan and John Richards and the villains of Tomasz Frankowski (corr) and Robert Taylor but all remain etched into the mind of Wolves supporters.

And the Express & Star wants fans to share their memories of Molineux from years gone by.

Send your stories and pictures from the home of the Wolves.

Were you there during the days of the Bhatti brothers?

Did you see Wolves taking on the great Honved side in the 1950s?

When Bully scored his 300th goal for the club against Bradford City, were you one of the thousands in attendance?

And was it true Peter Broadbent's body swerve sent not only the defence the wrong way but the North Bank too?

To mark the anniversary, Wolves will be exhibiting photography of Molineux at the club's museum where children can visit for £1.

They will also be producing a commemorative programme for today’s game against Blackburn Rovers priced at £3.

Share your memories in the 'Comment' section below, or upload your Molineux images to Star Witness.

The best picture sent to Star Witness each month wins £100.

 

Comments for: "Big birthday for Molineux"

No Sweat

So Molineux started life in 1889? Well, my first memory of the place doesn't go back quite that far, only to 27 August 1949. It was Wolves v Newcastle, the first home match since Billy Wright had lifted the FA Cup at Wembley on 30 April. I was among the 50,922 who saw the Newcastle game but I very nearly didn't make it. I lived in Devon in those days but we were visiting family in the Midlands and my Dad decided that going to the match would be a good, belated, big birthday present for me. I was just 8.

When we arrived at the ground Dad said 'Get in the boys' queue and when you're inside wait for me to come in through the next turnstile.' For our younger readers, 'boys' had to go through their own turnstile to get reduced price admission. I don't remember any 'girls'. Unfortunately as Dad neared the front of his queue the turnstile was slammed shut with a cry of 'Full Up!' Summoning a police constable Dad was able to extricate me, by now in floods of tears of course. We were told we'd probably get in 'over the other side'. As we got to the front of the queue 'over the other side' (together this time), Dad said 'He's already paid' so the guy said 'Lift him over then' and we were in.

Seeing anything from the terraces with such a large crowd at my minuscule 8-year-old height was another matter. Then Dad had a brainwave - he spotted the urinal that they used to have on the South Bank, really just a U-shaped 8ft high brick wall, and he lifted me up there for a perfect view - of the match of course! Obviously this was long before the Health and Safety Executive had ever been thought of or 'match day stewards'.

For the record, Wolves won 2-1, goals by Forbes and Pye, one of the Wembley heroes. Wolves were captained by Wright and Newcastle by Joe Harvey. Although I don't actually remember, I assume Jackie Milburn would have been playing for Newcastle as this was during his heyday.

Despite this somewhat traumatic experience on my first visit, I've been a Wolves fan ever since. 65 years now.

chris h

I have been a regular every season since 1963, which is nothing compared to some, but is a lot longer than anywhere else I have regularly visited on Earth. Definitely been a good, bad and ugly experience that I wouldn't swop for the World.

The worst would be in the Bhatti era, with so many depressing games when it seemed all hope had gone. I especially remember a five one defeat at home to Swansea on 14 Sept !985. We were well down at half time and the crowd of 4000 was so thin you could notice virtually everybody in the John Ireland. Robert Plant was a regular to spot, but on this occasion I noticed Bob Paisley who had retired by then but was doing a bit of scouting for Liverpool . Our only saleable asset at the time was Tim Flowers and he was not having a good game. Stupidly I went up to Bob and tapped him on the shoulder asking him to put in a decent bid for Flowers because the club needed the money. Rather than take offence, he looked up and said 'who' and then gave a broad smile . Liverpool never did buy him, but Flowers did go on to play for England. At the time there seemed to be no hope, no future for the club. Then along came a ray of sunshine from Tipton via West Brom.

My best could be any number of games, I enjoyed last Saturday for a start.But the one that sticks in my mind was a League Cup semi final win on 26 Jan 1974 one nil against Norwich. A class John Richards goal in the pouring rain did it. I got wet through in the old Waterloo Road Terrace. I remember the pitch invasion at the end and Kenny Hibbitt swinging a young kid around in jubilation with the wonderful realisation that Wolves were back at Wembley. Then we had the all time, magic moment in the final itself. One all draw,a few minutes to go and the ball landing at the feet of Richards. 'Go on John stick it in the onion bag' and of course King John duly obliged.

chris.hickman.7792

125 years of misery and tears.....oh, by the way.....I have a family of dingles and according to them it was 1952 when you last had a bad game!!

Happy birthday championship side.....pie and a pint all round....boing boing

grumppy grandad

My first trip to Molineux was in 1957 for the cup game against Bournemouth which we lost 1-0 and the goal post at the South bank end where we were standing collapsed. I was 9 year's old and have been a loyal supporter ever since and over the years since I have turned my cousin Keith my son Lee and hopefully my grandson Rubins into Wolves supporters.I also remember traveling to the game from Snow Hill to Wolverhampton low level station.

Jackett the Hat

Some of the best for me were the games leading up to the '80' league cup final.

The worst was probably losing that Sherpa van semi to Torquay.....still don't know how we lost it.......Dean Edwards, next time you're in town you can get me a pint, that game still hurts.

edmund_harrison

Greatest night at Molineux for me was 9th November 1954 when we played Moscow Dynamo. I recall the world famous Yashin was in goal for Dynamo. Yashin was the world's greatest 'keeper - nicknamed "the Lion". There was a sell out crowd and a tremendous atmosphere under the floodlights - a new phenomenon at the time. Wolves were pioneers of floodlit football. We won the game 2-1 with brilliant goals from Johnnycake Hancocks in the first half and Jimmy Mullen after the interval. But my greatest memory was the brilliant game played by Eddie Clamp - a stalwart in the heart of our defence, which held out against some tremendous pressure from the Russians for much of the thrilling game.

EDMUND HARRISON

edmund_harrison

I have to say there is a typing error in my above post. It should read "Johnny Hancocks". And NOT Johnnycake Hancocks. Such is predictive spelling on my iPad.

edmund_harrison

I wonder how many fans can recall Saturday 18th August 1962 ? The first game of a new season at Molineux. Manchester City were our visitors. They had the great Bert Trautmann in goal and a whizz kid called Dave Wagstaffe played on their left wing. But we had a remarkable striker by the name of Ted Farmer and Jimmy Murray up front, together with Alan Hinton and Terry Wharton on either wing. We ran the opposition ragged. We won 8-1. And I recall the legendary Stan Cullis standing on the pitch side near to the Player's Entrance urging Wolves to try to score even more. What a game ! What a result ! Oh, and it was Dave Wagstaffe who scored Manchester City's consolation goal ! Surely a League Division One game to cherish and remember for all time !

TottonWolf

My memories of Molineux have certain symmetry. December 11th 1965, my dad and uncle took me (10 years old) and my brother to watch Ipswich. We stood in the South Bank and saw us win 4-1. My lasting memory of that day was seeing Bobby Woodruff launch the ball into the six yard box from throw ins, something that was alien at the time.

Wind on to April 11th 2005. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer the previous August. I knew I had to take him to what would turn out to be his last game. So along with my nephew the three of us went to watch Wolves against Ipswich, which we won 2-0. At the time there was always a feature in the programme about a previous encounter between the two clubs which included a facsimile of the programme cover from that game. The game featured in the 2005 programme? You guessed it, December 11th 1965.

Indeed it did prove to be my dad’s last game as he passed away in September 2005. So as you can see Molineux is a special place for me for more than just footballing reasons.