Wolverhampton Wanderers Club History - Molineux News

Club History

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ history dates back to 1877 as one of the oldest football clubs in England and one that emerged from humble beginnings. Founded as St Luke’s FC, the club has a rich story as one of the biggest in the West Midlands. They have played in the Premier League since 2018/19.

Club name

John Baynton and John Brodie founded Wolves in 1877 under the name of St Luke’s FC owing to the church school they attended. But the club took on the name of Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1879 after merging with the football section of the Blakenhall Wanderers cricket club and it has remained.

Wolverhampton Wanderers badge

Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

Wolves have used the current design of their badge since 2002. But the crest was not widely enjoyed amongst the Molineux faithful for its simplicity. It simply features the head of a black wolf sitting on a golden background of a hexagon. Nothing more and nothing less but it has remained in use since.

The design is the seventh permanent badge that Wolves have used over the club’s history. It was not until the 1960s that the club would commission the design of a crest for use starting in 1970. It also had a simplistic design with a leaping wolf above two ‘W’s before becoming just three wolfs in 1974.

Another simplistic design followed from 1979 to 1988 as Wolves adopted the first badge in the club’s history to feature just a wolf’s head above the club’s name. While the West Midlands outfit adopted a shield from 1988 to 1993 before re-embracing the city’s coat of arms used in the 1920s and 1930s.

Kit history

The club has adopted gold and black as their colours almost entirely throughout Wolves’ history. The colours symbolise the city council’s motto of ‘out of darkness cometh light’. But the club initially had red and white striped jerseys over their earlier years to reflect the colours of St Luke’s church school.

League history

Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images

Wolves have played in all four divisions of the professional game in England during the club’s history. The West Midlands natives first entered a division in 1988/89 as a founding member of the Football League. They also remained a top-flight side until 1906 but did not earn promotion back until 1932.

The Molineux outfit also competed in the northern section of the third-tier over the 1923/34 season. But Wolves enjoyed another lengthy spell as a top-flight side from 1932 to 1965, during which they also enjoyed their best period after lifting the Division One title in 1953/54, 1957/58 and 1958/59.

In contrast, the 1980s brought Wolves’ lowest moments after falling into the fourth-tier from 1986 to 1988. They would also not contest a top-flight season between the 1984/85 and 2002/03 campaigns. Wolves have since contested Premier League terms in 2003/04, 2009-12 and from 2018 to present.

Wolverhampton Wanderers trophies

The 1950s produced the most prolific period in Wolves’ trophy history in terms of top-flight honours with each of their three titles. They have also finished as the runners-up five times but not since the 1959/60 term. While Wolves have lifted the second-tier trophy four times, most recently in 2017/18.

Wolves have further won a number of cup competitions with four FA Cup trophies featuring in their cabinet. They have also won the English Football League Cup twice, the Charity Shield/Community Shield four times, the Football League Trophy once and also the Football League War Cup in 1942.

Players and managers

Photo Credit: Graham Chadwick/Allsport via Getty Images

With the club’s storied history going back to 1877, a number of past Molineux players and managers are Wolves legends. Billy Wright also became a legend of the game in general during his time in the West Midlands. The iconic defender was the first player in the world to reach 100 international caps.

Yet Wolves legendary former manager Frank Buckley – who stood at their helm from 1927 to 1944 – almost ushered Wright away from Molineux owing to his height. Yet Buckley’s change of heart kept a one-club man at Molineux who would help to bring home three top-flight trophies and the FA Cup.

Jump forward to the 1980s and Steve Bull arrived from Wolves’ fierce rivals, West Bromwich Albion. But the forward would go on to become the greatest goalscorer Molineux has ever seen. He penned 306 goals in 561 appearances over his time at the club and helped Wolves return to the second-tier.