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How Stan Cullis’s playing days ended in Wolves title heartbreak

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

As Wolves’ manager, Stan Cullis did it all. If there was a trophy to be won, it was clinched.

Wolves legend Stan Cullis missed out on the league title as a player

Under his guidance, Wolves enjoyed their most successful period ever – two FA Cups and three First Division titles proudly lifted.

But as a player, Cullis agonisingly missed out on the top-flight crown – three times.

The last of those oh-so-close occasions came 73 years ago today, which was also the former centre-half’s 171st and final game in gold and black before becoming boss the following year.

Wolves entered their final game of the 1946/47 campaign in top spot, but visitors Liverpool knew victory would see them become the league leaders instead.

And, unfortunately, Cullis & Co came out on the wrong end.

In front of a crowd of more than 50,000 at Molineux, the Reds founds themselves 2-0 up at half-time thanks to Jack Palmer and Albert Stubbins.

Wolves got one back in the second period through Jimmy Dunn – a Liverpool fan nonetheless – but it was not enough, with Reds keeper Cyril Sidlow surviving a late onslaught.

A fitting end to a fantastic player’s career was denied, but it was not all wrapped up for Liverpool either.

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The season had been extended because of the big freeze over the winter, and title challengers Stoke still had a game left to play.

Victory at Sheffield United, a couple of weeks later on June 14, would hand them the trophy.

Fortunately for the Reds, Stoke lost, not that it was any easier a pill to swallow for Wolves, who actually finished third – Manchester United managing to claim second in a thrilling end to the campaign.

Having also been an FA Cup runner-up, Cullis’s playing career turned out to be fairly cruel. But as we all know, he more than made up for with his legendary 16-year reign as Wolves manager.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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