Ready For The Big Kick-Off
True Legend Bully Waiting And Hoping
On the eve of the new Championship season, we welcome this scene-setting piece from a guest blogger – with a nostalgic twist of course….
The word ‘legend’ is overused in sport and life in general but there is no doubting that Steve Bull’s career at Wolves gives him such status.
In an era where player loyalty is as rare as hens’ teeth, the Tipton-born striker refused all offers to depart Molineux once he had left his home town club and ended a short spell at West Brom by moving to Molineux in 1986.
The rest is history, with 306 goals from 561 appearances in all competitions while wearing the gold and black, earning 13 England caps along the way.
Bull, now 52, began his time at Wolves when they were languishing in the old Fourth Division and his first outing was against Wrexham on November 22, 1986.
He did not score on that occasion but the fans had to wait only another ten days before witnessing the start of the goal deluge.
Having bagged 15 League goals in his first campaign, Bully hit 34 in the bottom division the following season as Wolves claimed the title by some distance.
The powerful hit-man bettered that tally the following season, with 37 in the League and 50 for the club overall as they made it back-to-back promotions and gave Bull a chance to show what he could do in the second tier of English football.
Such was his ability that England manager Bobby Robson called him up while he was still technically a third-tier player at the end of the 1988-89 campaign, and 24 League goals in the old Second Division then convinced the Three Lions chief to take him to the World Cup finals in Italy.
He played four times as England reached the last four but there is no question that he would have won many more caps had he played for a fashionable top-flight club.
While the club’s record scorer never again passed 30 goals for a season, his tally did not dip below 14 until knee problems struck towards the back end of his playing days.
He rolled back the years in 1996-97 by bagging 23 goals from 43 outings before calling time on his Wolves career in 1999.
Bull may not have won much silverware beyond two titles and the Sherpa Van Trophy but such was his impact over a 13-year stint at Wolves that he won the hearts of the club’s faithful and has a stand named after him at Molineux.
He received an MBE for services to football in December, 1999; an incredible achievement given his lack of exposure at the top level. And he has been involved in charity work for many years.
Bull still has close connections with the club in his role as an honorary vice-president and was vocal in his disapproval of the recent managerial merry-go-round at the club.
He will be hoping that current incumbent Nuno Espirito Santo can get what many feel is a sleeping giant of the English game back into the Premier League and Bookmaker Advisor is the place to go for anyone who fancies a flutter on Wolves’ upcoming Championship campaign.
There would be nobody prouder than Bully if he was able to watch from the stands as the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal run out at the ground he graced for so many years.