Way Back When

Talented Kid Wolves Found On Their Doorstep

Continuing our series of occasional articles on more distant Molineux matters, we look at a Wolverhampton family who had their roots very much in the local area.

Doug Taylor demonstrates the style that made him a Wolves forward of considerable promise.

We are greatly indebted to Terry Palmer – a lifelong Wolves fan now based in Worcester – for sending us various pictures of his uncle, Doug Taylor.

At a time of intense competition for places, the 1950s centre-forward made only three League and Cup appearances for the club but went on to serve Walsall for a couple of seasons before dropping into non-League football.

And Terry remains very proud of the Molineux connection as well as being keen to clear up what he regards as one or two mistakes that have appeared in past Wolves literature.

“I grew up with Doug virtually as my older brother and he was certainly a big hero to me,” said Terry, 62.

“He was born very close to Molineux at the bottom of North Street, which ran parallel with Waterloo Road towards Five Ways.

“My mom lived there as well, even after she married, so I spent my first six or seven years in that house and it was quite a bit later that Doug left to get married.

“I played football with him at West Park and Fowler’s Park and recall seeing him play for Wolves Reserves, when I used to sit at the front of the Waterloo Road Stand.

“Contrary to what some books say, he was born in that house in North Road and not in West Bromwich. And I’m pretty sure he never spent time with Albion as an amateur, as they say.”

Doug obliges for the cameras at Molineux.

Doug’s sister Doreen is Terry’s mother and lives in Penkridge. She remembers her brother working as a fitter on the steam engines at the Stafford Road Works and playing for the factory team when he was spotted by a Wolves scout.

“Doug even had his wedding reception, in about 1955, at the Molineux Hotel,” she said. “I remember it was a boiling hot day.

“Our dad, Harry, had been on Wolves’ books as well – around 1920. He was a full-back, although we don’t think he can have played any League games for the club.

“But Wolves are very much part of our family story.”

Doug, who scored eight goals in 39 Walsall appearances, died almost a decade ago, having also lived in Wombourne and Wednesfield and spent his non-League years with the likes of Stafford Rangers, Wellington and Oswestry.

Taylor (far left) jogs away after a near miss in Wolves' game with San Lorenzo at Molineux in March, 1954. The no 10 is Dennis Wilshaw.

His three Wolves outings came in successive First Division games against Aston Villa, Arsenal and Manchester towards the end of 1954-55.

He didn’t score for them in the League but did net the opening goal in front of 37,000 in a 3-1 victory over Argentinian side Racing Club of Buenos Aires in March, 1954 – the third of the famous floodlit friendlies staged at Molineux.