Wolverhampton Wanderers @ Molineux


Wolverhampton Wanderers @ Molineux with thanks to Above All Images/Ian Hay

This to me is one of the most iconic photographs that Ian Hay took.  If you didn’t know whose ground it was the colour would provide the answer, Old Gold could only mean Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The following text is taken from the book, Football Grounds, and was written by Cassandra Wells.

Wolves, formed from a schoolboys’ team, St Luke’s, in 1877, which then merged with a local cricket and football team, The Wanderers, in 1879 to form Wolverhampton Wanderers.  After playing home games at Goldthorn Hill and Dudley Road, in 1889 the club moved to Molineux.  A grandstand was built which could seat 300 spectators with shelter for a further 4,000 fans.  Wolves played their first League game in 1889 against Notts County, which they won 2-0.  Despite boasting a capacity of 20,000, it was not until 1925 that the major stands were built.  The first was erected on the Waterloo Road side of the ground.  The Molineux Street Stand was rebuilt in 1932 after a gale blew the old cover down.  This distinctive structure had a multi-span roof, with a clock mounted in the centre.  The 1930s saw the north and south end terracing covered to shelter the large crowds that flocked to home games.  During this period, 61,315 fans (February 11th 1939) turned up to see Wolves take on Liverpool, the largest crowd ever recorded at the ground.  During the 1950s Molineux was best known for its newly installed floodlights.  Top European clubs flocked to the Midlands ground to enjoy the opportunities of midweek evening games that floodlights made possible.  In 1978, new legislation led to the demolition of the Molineux Street Stand and in its place a £2m grandstand was erected.  This stand almost led to the club folding as they struggled to cope with the debt but in 1986 they were saved by the local council who bought the ground for £1.12m.  In May 1990 Sir Jack Hayward purchased Molineux for an estimated £20m, redeveloping the ground into one of the most modern in the country.

To read more about this famous old club go to the tab “The Cat” and discover the life and times of Bert Williams, England’s greatest goalkeeper.

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