Winning with Wolves 1949-50

Wolves kicked off the 1949 season like champions with 9 wins and 3 draws in their first 12 games and Bert saved a penalty at Derby to clinch the win.  It was his dearest wish that Wolves could add a league title to the FA Cup win so could this be the year?

The Children’s Mirror had been collecting votes from readers for the choice of soccer superman and the results were as follows:

Bert thought this was a very special honour and it meant a lot to him to be chosen by young football supporters.

However, like all teams do, Wolves hit a bad patch and the next 11 games brought a meagre reward of 6 draws and not a single victory.  In the game at home against Bolton Wanderers Wolves were indeed fortunate to get one point as once again Bert Williams lived up to his reputation with a series of magnificent saves.

Following a home defeat to Aston Villa by 2-3, Bert and his mates made the return trip to Villa Park and stopped the rot with a fine 4-1 victory.

The final 10 games of the season began with a difficult trip to Anfield to face Liverpool who saw their ambitions of a league and cup double dashed by the heroics of Bert Williams as this newspaper clipping confirms.

The Anfield crowd showed their appreciation of Bert’s display and George Green added his own praise with a wonderful cartoon.

It was a happy changing room and Stan Cullis was never afraid of showing his emotions when it came to supporting “the lads”.  He would sit in a little dugout in front of the stand and watch the game intensely.  The dugout had a corrugated roof and when Wolves scored Stan would often jump up and hit his head on the roof.  On more than one occasion he came out with blood streaming down his head and neck.  Sometimes he would decide to move indoors and watch the game from the boot room which had a little glass window with a shelf that he would lean on to watch the game.  Even in there he just could not contain himself and often punched the glass out with high emotion sending shards of glass down the steps.

Wolves continued to do well in the league but again it was destined not to be their year as they finished in second place to Portsmouth on goal difference as both clubs ended the season with 53 points.

The team always had a choice of balls and here you can see Stan Cullis and Bert examining a ball that didn’t have a lace.  These balls were introduced because the lace could cause injuries and when taking a free kick, it was a common sight to see players carefully placing the ball with the laces facing the opposition.

© Soccer Nostalgia

Design: David Ainsworth