Wandering around the world: Meet the far-flung Wolves fans cheering on Nuno's stars

With scores of British expatriates rooting for Wolves, the team has amassed quite a following across the globe. Jamie Brassington finds out more

Meet the Wolves fans from around the world
Meet the Wolves fans from around the world

The world is alive with the howls of the Wolf Pack! Old gold and black are the colours of fans around the world celebrating Wolves' Championship success.

The Express & Star has been speaking with fans in countries from the US to Australia to find out how they have been sharing in the promotion joy.

Stars, stripes and superfans - America

In America there is a Wolves supporters group called Wolves USA.

It was founded by American fan Chris Wood in the 2011/12 season and now has more than 1,000 members – featuring both Americans and British expatriates.

Chris described the football on show this season as ‘amazing’ and he has celebrated by collecting Wolves memorabilia.

Chris, a 33-year-old American from Columbus in Ohio, has been a fan since 2003. He founded the group after finding fellow Wolves fans in his local area.

33-year-old Chris Wood, from Columbus in Ohio, with his American Wolves flag

He said: “What can I say about this past season? I’ve been a Wolves fan since the play-off final (against Sheffield United) in 2003. The Matt Murray penalty save sealed my allegiance that day.

“The football has been amazing this season – the best I have seen as a Wolves fan.

“I started believing we were going up after the transfer window closed and no major injuries occurred.

“Winning the title was just icing on the cake to getting promoted.”

British expatriate Michael Long, from Tettenhall, holds up a scarf with his ‘Wolves family’

The group ‘Wolves U.S.A’ on Facebook has around 1,280 members. He said members are both American citizens and British expatriates and other fans from across the world.

“There are smaller pockets of fans that have set their own groups up but are affiliated with us, for example Houston Wolves, Colorado Wolves, Florida and my Wolves Columbus, mainly for meet-ups and watch parties,” he said.

Chris has celebrated Wolves’ successes this season by collecting special memorabilia.

He has got a football signed by the team, a programme signed by Ruben Neves and Conor Coady and has ordered a customised top featuring his name, number and Premier League matches.

He also has a custom flag, which is a mix between the America flag and the Wolves logo – with wolf heads replacing the stars.

A meet up of Houston Wolves members during a game

Down the road from Columbus, or more precisely 1,000 miles, in Tampa, Florida, is Wolves fan and British expatriate Michael Long, who declared this season as ‘unbelievable’.

The 47-year-old from Tettenhall moved out there in 2013 with his wife and children.

Michael owns a Ford Mustang with a special Wolves number plate reading ‘WWFC1’ and custom Adidas ‘Wolves’ trainers.

He said: “Oh my God what a season! Who would have thought it would turn out this good. Wow, I can’t believe it.

“I was hoping to get back for May 7 celebrations but work will likely stop that. I have been back this season and saw us demolish Bolton 5-1. I have watched every game live and nearly took the roof off the house when Neves scored that goal. I will definitely be back for a game or two next year.”

Michael’s car with his personalised Wolves number plate

Michael owned a season ticket for more than 20 years and his parents still have season tickets in the Billy Wright stand. He likes to watch football games in a ‘soccer bar’ called MacDintons in Tampa.

In Denver, Colorado, celebrations were held this weekend as Wolves lifted the trophy at Molineux.

Todd DeWitt, 32, a member of the Colorado Wolves supporters group, was among those to take part. Although an American citizen, Todd has been a Wolves fan for the past nine years. In August he travelled to Molineux where he watched the match against Cardiff with his wife Michelle, 33.

Todd said: “I knew this season was going to be different, but after that loss (2-1 against Cardiff) I was fairly sure we would only make the play-offs. I’m so glad I was wrong.

“What an incredible season it has been. Neves has been incredible to watch, but Coady has been the surprise of the season.

“Nuno has brought out the best in him and many others on the pitch.”

Customised Wolves trainers – fans can collect all sorts of memorabilia

Another affiliate of Wolves USA group is Houston Wolves, which is run by Paul Lappage, 37, who is originally from Sedgley. He moved out to Houston, Texas, in 2011. He says membership is growing and during a meet-up to watch the Middlesbrough game, they had more than 20 fans in attendance.

Asked for his thoughts on Wolves’ title-winning season, Paul said: “It has been out of this world. We are playing with a style and footballing ethos that I’ve never previously experienced in all my years supporting Wolves. I have been a Wolves fan for about 30 years. My first game was when I was seven and I got my first season ticket in 1996 when the South Bank had been redeveloped.

“The promotion is fantastic as it really feels like we can go up, and the title win is special as it shows how we’ve dominated all season.”

With alarms set for middle of the night, are Aussie fans far and away the keenest?

Wherever I lay my hat – a Wolves hat positioned on a sunny beach

‘Down Under’, Luke Clarke and the Western Australia Wolves supporters group have been following their team all season.

They are one of a number of supporters groups in the country, with others based in Melbourne and Sydney.

Luke was originally from New Invention in Willenhall but moved to Perth, in Western Australia, in 2012 to start a new life with his wife and two sons.

Luke, aged 42, said: “It has been wonderful to watch on TV even if it has meant kick-off times were at 11pm, 1am or 3am.

“The quality of the players and the best football I’ve ever seen by Wolves. I started Wolves in 1987. The Aldershot play-off game was my first. I will watch the last couple of games and get another Western Australia Wolves supporters group get together.

“The group has about 80 followers now but has only been up a couple of months.

“There is a supporters group in Melbourne too. Wolves are certainly gaining more recognition and more of my Aussie friends and colleagues are keeping an eye for the results.

“That will increase again with the Premier League, which is big here.

“The local team here is Perth Glory and they have ex-Wolves star Andy Keogh as Captain and leading scorer.”

Western Australia Wolves supporters with a beaming Luke Clarke

He added: “I moved over for sunshine, beaches and the Australian dream.

“I have a house with a pool and walking distance of the beach. We are now Aussie citizens.”

Sydney resident Stephen Humphries, 59, described Wolves’ football this season as the best he has seen in half-a-century.

Australian David Kate has been hooked on the team’s style since 1992

Stephen grew up in Wolverhampton and remembered the team of the early-1970’s, which included players such as Derek Dougan, John Richards and Kenny Hibbitt.

He said: “I think the football that Wolves have played this season is the best I have seen in the 50 years that I have been supporting them, which includes the fantastic team of the early 1970s.

“We have never had players with such pace, technical ability and the character to overcome the physical side of the English game.

“I first went to the match on the crossbar of my dad’s bike, which he used to park in the terrace houses in the old Molineux Street, and had seen Wolves on 62 grounds before I left for Australia.

“I still want to do the 92 before I die.

Triumph and anticipation from the Western Australia Wolves supporter’s group

“I have just had a £10 bet on Wolves to win the Premier League at 250-1 next season.

“In truth it is a fun bet but with a small element of seriousness.

“I honestly believe we can finish top 10 and shake up the established ‘bottom 14’. Australian David Kate became a Wolves fan after he watched the side play Watford at Molineux in 1992.

He has been following the side ever since and said this is the best team he has seen so far.

David said: “I was in the Midlands back in 1992 and went to see Wolves play Watford at Molineux and started following Wolves from that moment.”

Europe's Wolves army are overjoyed

A Wolves supporter who moved out to Spain has been stopped on the streets by locals after they spotted his football shirt.

Paul Turley, 44, from Willenhall, is now based in Madrid working in television for the International Olympic Committee.

Wolves won promotion while his father Neville was visiting him out there, after they had just been to a La Liga match.

Paul said: “My dad is 77 but you’ve never seen a man move so fast to find a bar in all his life.

Paul Turley with father Neville, aged 77, and son Leonhard, four, outside Molineux

“I often wear my Wolves training top to the gym, which is a 20-minute walk away and three times in the past fortnight, Madrid locals have stopped me in the street, speaking no English but just pointing at the Wolf head saying ‘Wolverhampton, si!? Es Jota!’ Word is spreading.

“Wolves have bonded with their fans this season and I hope we can carry that on for many seasons back in the top flight. I might be far away but I want my city to always be smiling.”

Dozens of fans from Malta flocked to watch Wolves in April when they played against Derby and Birmingham City.

They were delighted to have witnessed Neves’ wonder goal against Derby, which has been shortlisted as one of the club’s goal-of-the-season contenders.

Tarcisio Mifsud, 73, said: “Together, with a group of 30 Wolves fans from Malta, we went to watch Wolves between April 10 and 17 play against Derby and the Blues. We were very lucky to be present when Neves scored that famous goal against Derby.

“The group mainly consisted of people aged 70 and more as we have been following Wolves since the mid-1950s, when Wolves became three-time champions in that decade, besides winning the FA Cup title in 1949 and 1960.

“I have been following Wolves since 1953 when they first became champions in the 1953/54 season.

“My eldest brothers all followed Blackpool in those years because of the Stanley Matthew era, except one and therefore I went with the underdog and continued to be a super fan of Wolves since then.”

In Ireland, fans are planning to hold a celebration during the annual general meeting of Irish Wolves Supporters Club.

The supporters group got back together in 2011 after previously folding.

In the Costa Del Sol, Spain, Nick Cripps, who is a professional singer, has made ‘Hi, Ho, Silver Lining’ a regular song where he works. He and his fellow fans have planned ‘a big day’ in their regular bar, The Blarney in La Cala de Mijas, on the last day of the season.

Nick, 55, who was born in Bilston and lived in Wolverhampton and Sedgley before moving to Spain five years ago, said: “It’s been a fantastic season and one of the best I can remember for many a year. I watched every game in whatever way I could.”

In Holland, Steve Beech, 49, originally from Wolverhampton, says he is hoping to return to Molineux after leaving he country in 2003, bringing ‘many new supporters’ with him.

He said: “This season was beyond our wildest dreams, great football, unity on and off the pitch and owners who mean business. It is nothing more than we deserve as fans. I have supported Wolves since I was a boy.”

Wolves take over the rest of the world

Wolves fan Michael Hadley regularly travels to China on business and takes his scarf with him – snapping pictures outside some of the country’s landmarks and destinations.

The 49 year old from Penn believes Wolves could become huge in China as the club’s owners Fosun are from there.

Michael said: “This has simply been the best season I can ever remember as a Wolves fan.

“Not just because of the sublime football, the incredible, exciting skills of Diogo Jota, Neves and Helder Costa, the calm assured confidence of Coady and Willy Boly or even the steely determination and desire of my new hero Nuno.

“But also because of the way the whole club has reconnected and engaged with the fans.

Michael at Tiananmen Square in Beijing

“After a good few years where pretty much all Wolves fans felt cheated, isolated and taken for granted, it feels like Jeff Shi, Laurie Dalrymple and Nuno have given me my club back.

“Best of all, it’s the first time my son and I have had a season ticket together, and that means the world to me.”

He added: “My first game was in 1976 vs Charlton Athletic and John Richards came on as a sub and scored a hat trick.

“I travel to China a lot for business and can’t wait to see us be successful over there. If Fosun get it right, we will be huge – so exciting.

“If Wolves plan a pre-season tour to China, I’m definitely going. I’ve celebrated both weekends (promotion and then winning the title) in different ways.

“I celebrated getting promoted with the lads in town after the Blues game, and then celebrated the title in Portugal with a load of Portuguese boys and lots of Super Bock.”

Another Wolves fan watched his team from 31 different countries during this past season.

Jack Boden went travelling around the world with his girlfriend in September after they quit their jobs, but he still made time to watch his beloved team.

Jack, aged 30, said: “The football has been the best I have ever witnessed in the old gold. It is so exciting and so refreshing. It made all the early get ups for the games this year worth it.

“We embarked on a trip of central and south America until Christmas, and then Europe after Christmas. One of the highlights was the Manchester City game, which I watched in a bar in Medellin, Columbia, at lunchtime there.

“People didn’t really realise why I was in agony when Bright Enobakhare went running through and didn’t score just before half-time. Some of the biggest celebrations definitely came on our recent trip to Europe. We were in Vilnius, Lithuania, when Cardiff missed the two late penalties.

“We had found a sports bar with a ‘dodgy’ box who managed to get it on for us. The locals were doing karaoke and were giving me some weird looks when I was jumping around the bar.”

Other fans came together by coincidence at a hotel in Cape Verde, off the North West of Africa.

Ian Davies, from Shifnal, Mac Craddick, from Scotland, and Tony Cheshire, from Madeley, met at the resort. Ian said: “We had a good Nuno song going. We are just three guys who had our shirts on separately and met at the bar.”

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