Express & Star

Wolves' epic cup final victory in depths of Second World War

Look who's coming to play...

Alex Hastings leads out Sunderland at Molineux on May 30, 1942.

And for visitors Sunderland the humiliation at Molineux started early. Examine the picture closely and you'll see they are emerging from a dressing room marked "Contaminated Entrance – Female."

Alex Hastings leads out Sunderland at Molineux on May 30, 1942.

There's a reason for that. This was the Football League War Cup Final played between Wolves and Sunderland on May 30, 1942, and we can surmise that during the war the changing rooms at Molineux were earmarked for a gas decontamination role, should there have been a gas attack.

While the second picture is very similar, it's not Sunderland this time. "Wolves v Sheffield United?" is the tentative caption on the original print in our archive. Well yes, it definitely is Sheffield United, as the player on the left is identifiably Harry Hooper, who was a United stalwart from 1930 to 1947, and captained the team when Sheffield made a losing appearance in the FA Cup Final in 1936.

Visitors Sheffield United take the field, with Harry Hooper left. But what was this match?

Back to the 1942 Football League War Cup Final. The Sunderland captain carrying the ball onto the pitch is Alex Hastings, a Scottish international who was to make over 300 appearances for the club.