Explain That!

Fluctuations Of The Most Dramatic Kind

Andy Beattie (left)….bowed out with a thrilling final flourish.

Supporters down the decades and across the country have routinely described their side as up and down.

Not knowing what teams are going to do next is part of sport’s appeal but Wolves were genuinely in and out in the months in which they were trying to rebuild after the departure of Stan Cullis.

Remarkably, they went 20 League games and almost seven months without a draw, starting in the latter weeks of their 1964-65 relegation season and ending in the mid-autumn of the Second Division campaign that followed.

And there were some zany sequences of results within that period, none more so than the seven-game trot immediately before the points were finally shared again in a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield.

A side initially under the management of Andy Beattie and then of his successor Ronnie Allen hit form in a big way with six emphatic victories in the space of a month and a bit.

Derby (4-0), Rotherham (4-1), Bury (3-0) and Middlesbrough (3-0) were put to the sword at Molineux before and after Wolves ran out 3-0 winners at Norwich and Leyton Orient on successive Saturdays.

But buried away among that avalanche of goals was one of the more infamous results in the club’s history – the 9-3 humiliation at Southampton that did for Beattie virtually a year to the day since the controversial decision to call time on the reign of Wolves’ greatest manager.

There are other ways of looking at this bizarre trot, an extension of which (at the start) meant that 11 successive matches played by the side yielded an aggregate of 54 goals at an average of almost five a time.

In all 11, Wolves or their opponents (or in two cases, both) scored three or more, a midweek trip to Rotherham 11 days before the visit to The Dell bringing a less spectacular but still goal-laden 4-3 defeat.

There were worthy individual feats and strange personal goings-on amid all this magnificent mayhem.

Peter Knowles had 13 goals on the board in the first two months of the season, including two hat-tricks, Dave Wagstaffe netted in seven matches out of nine up to the same point and Bobby Woodruff had notched three more to go with the 11 he scored in three months in a relegation-bound side in the first third of 1965.

Equally unusually, Woodruff found those heroics insufficient to keep his place in the line-up.

Bobby Woodruff……has interesting memories from 1965.

He and George Miller were the two men left out after the crash against a Southampton side who would win promotion in the following spring.

And that caused one final extraordinary situation. Woodruff, who scored at The Dell, didn’t regain his senior spot until the Molineux clash with Portsmouth at the end of November – a game that brought an 8-2 home win.

So that meant two successive games played by the Wiltshire-born inside-forward, albeit more than two months apart, had brought an astonishing 22 goals.