Like their Black Country rivals West Brom, Wolves are trying to shake off the tag of underachievers, but for now they can still be classed as a ‘sleeping giant’: a famous name with a decent history who haven’t achieved an awful lot on the pitch for a very long time.
The club were once trailblazers: established in 1877, they were founder members of the Football League and also played an instrumental role in the foundation of the European Cup. Wanderers' glory days were 1949 to 1960, as they bagged the league title three times and the FA Cup twice, before pitting themselves against the best of Europe in the knockout competition which has now become the Champions League; they also reached the 1972 UEFA Cup final and won the League Cup in 1974 and 1980.
However, the 1980s were a roller-coaster with three successive relegations followed by two consecutive promotions. Having spent most of the time since trying to reach the Premier League under the largesse of self-titled "Golden Tit", former owner Jack Hayward, Wolves appear to have established a bulkhead under Mick McCarthy's cheerfully resolute leadership of decent, energetic individuals like Kevin Doyle, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Stephen Hunt, Karl Henry and Steven Fletcher.
Molineux can generate an electric atmosphere when this lot are on song, and McCarthy's merry men have slain many of the division's biggest teams, even if they regularly fail to overcome less impressive visitors. Like sworn enemies West Brom, though, adversity often produces very exciting games here, and it’s well worth a trip to watch the boys in Old Gold.
An evocative name, Molineux – titled after a local merchant – has been Wolves' home since 1889. A hundred years later it was falling through the floor, but the modifications since then have created a tidy, vibrant 29,000-capacity ground with four Old Gold-coloured stands named after club legends. Buoyed by avoiding relegation in 2010, Wolves announced plans to redevelop Molineux to 36,000 by summer 2014; this will involve a temporary capacity dip while stands are rebuilt with extra tiers.
Wolverhampton train station is a 15-minute walk round the ring road. To drive to WV1 4QR from the north, leave the M6 at Junction 12, take the A5 towards Telford and then the A449 for Wolverhampton. At the A4150 ring road, follow signs for football parking. From the south, leave the M6 at Junction 10 and take the A454 until you hit the A4150 ring road, and look for signs for football parking.
Explore with our interactive map – zoom, drag, click badges for club guides
FourFourTwo.com News • Features • Interviews • Video
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010