By Chris Wright
For this week’s Around the Grounds photo essay we’re off to the Black Country for a look around the Molineux Stadium with all it’s mad “old gold” scaffolding, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1889 – the year after Wolves both competed in and scored the very first goal (against Villa of all clubs) of the inaugural Football League season.
The stadium is named after local entrepreneur Benjamin Molineux, whose eponymous Molineux Hotel was built on the land before it was eventually re-purposed for soccerball.
All four of the stands are named after Wolves heros: Stan Cullis, Jack Harris, Billy Wright and the club’s record goalscorer Steve Bull. Current capacity stands at 31,700 though work is afoot to increase the number of seats – whether or not the club plan to press ahead despite their recent relegation to League One is another matter.
Fun facts: As well as being the first stadium to host a UEFA Cup Final when Wolves were given first hosting duties in their two-legger with Tottenham in 1972, Molineux was also the first ground to stage a properly floodlit match when Wolves took on South Africa in an exhibition game back in 1953.
While we’re on the subject of firsts, the very first penalty kick in the Football League was also awarded at Molineux when Wolves won one against Accrington in September, 1891. The penalty was taken and dispatched successfully by Billy Heath as Wolves went on to win 5–0.
Right, enough of the babble, time to let the dog see the rabbit…
Bonus photo of the plans for the new bells-and-whistles “Modern Molineux” that Wolves nearly ended up playing at when their ground was redeveloped in 1958…
Like something out of The Jetsons!
More in Pies’ Around The Grounds series…
The New Maracana, Rio De Janeiro
Griffin Park, Brentford
De Kuip, Feyenoord
Upton Park, West Ham
San Mames, Athletic Bilbao
FC Gspon’s Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium, The Highest Pitch In Europe
Valley Parade, Bradford City
Prenton Park, Tranmere
Wankdorf, Young Boys
Estadio Municipal, SC Braga
Home Park, Plymouth Argyle
Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
Ninian Park, Cardiff City
Wankdorf Stadium, Young Boys
Portman Road, Ipswich Town
Recreation Ground, Aldershot
Saltergate, Former Home Of Chesterfield