Bruno Lage's men visit King Power Stadium for a 3pm BST kick-off on Saturday. Three-time English champions Wolves have a rich history, defined by several glorious eras, some of which are explained here...
The Stan Cullis era
Former player and manager Stan Cullis is heavily associated with triumph at Wolves.
Stan Cullis is a name etched in the history books of Wolverhampton Wanderers. A captain of the side aged just 19, Cullis was a talented centre-half who made over 150 appearances for the club. During the late 1930s, the England international was part of the Wolves side which finished as runners- up in the First Division twice, as well as falling just short in the FA Cup Final against Portsmouth. After the Second World War Cullis and his team-mates again missed out on the league title on the day that proved to be Cullis’ last in a gold shirt, but he soon made up for those near misses when he took over as manager, presiding over without doubt the most successful period in Wolves’ history. Taking charge in 1948 aged just 31, Cullis became the youngest manager to win the FA Cup when his side beat Leicester in the final during his first season as manager, and he then went on to lift Wolves’ maiden First Division title in 1954. Remarkably, things would go on to get even better for the Black Country side, with Cullis guiding Wolves to two league titles in successive years (1957/58 and 1958/59) and another FA Cup crown in 1960.
Bouncing back in style
Since Wolves' return to the Premier League, the club have continued to build, becoming an established top-flight side.
Suffering back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to League 1 was a crushing blow for Wolves, but their season in the third tier in 2013/14 proved to be a record-breaking one and a catalyst for greater success in the near future. Prior to the season-opener against Preston North End, former Millwall manager Kenny Jackett was brought in to replace Dean Saunders with the task of halting the club’s slide and ensuring an immediate bounce back to the Championship. That target was fulfilled in emphatic style when Wolves achieved promotion with four games to spare, setting a new club record points tally in the process and even a new record for the third tier of English football (103 points). Jackett’s men remained consistent throughout the season but a faultless period between January and March proved to be significant, with the team winning nine consecutive league games to build a handsome lead at the top of the table. In a similar narrative to the Foxes’ recent history, this League 1 title helped Wolves to build momentum and in 2018, the club regained their Premier League status with a Championship title win under Nuno Espírito Santo.
The record scorer
Steve Bull spent 13 years at Molineux and broke four of the club’s goalscoring records
Signed from local rivals West Bromwich Albion in 1986, Wolves were in need of a spark when Steve Bull arrived with the club languishing in the Fourth Division of the football pyramid. That acquisition proved to be an inspired signing and one of the most important days in the club’s history, as Bull soon spearheaded the team to help Wolves win successive league titles and climb back to the second tier. Loved by supporters for his goalscoring ability and incredible work-rate, Bull spent 13 years at Molineux and broke four of the club’s goalscoring records. The Tipton-born striker remains the club’s all-time leading scorer with a total of 306, with 250 of those strikes coming in the Football League (another club record). The man known by Molineux regulars as ‘Bully’, Steve was the team’s talisman in almost every season he played but the late 1980s is a period which stands out, when Bull netted a club-record 52 goals in 1987/88 and then followed that up with another 50 goals in 1988/89. A scorer of 18 hat-tricks, Bull received an MBE for his services to Association Football in 1999 and one of the main stands at Wolves’ home has since been named the Steve Bull Stand in recognition for his record-breaking contributions as a player.
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