Cheers Once More To The Class Of ’59
Landmark Week In Wolves’ Proud History
As our own acknowledgement of the fact it is 60 years ago this week since Wolves won the League Championship for the third and latest time, we offer these quirky and/or statistical recollections from the 1958-59 season.
*Stan Cullis’s side ended their glorious campaign with four successive victories and without conceding a goal in any of them, beating Blackpool (A) 1-0, Luton (H) 5-0, Leicester (H) 3-0 and Everton (A) 1-0.
*They might not have faced a run-in comparable in intensity with those now being faced by Manchester City and Liverpool but they nevertheless finished off by playing five games in 15 days stretching from a 2-2 draw at Bolton on April 11 to the game at Goodison Park on April 25.
*Five Wanderers players scored a dozen or more goals in the League alone, Jimmy Murray leading the way with 21 and being well supported by Peter Broadbent (20), Norman Deeley (17), Bobby Mason (13) and Micky Lill (12).
*It was certainly an era in which Wolves were free-scoring, this being the second of four consecutive seasons that saw them top the 100-goal mark in First Division matches alone. They netted 103 times in being crowned champions in 1957-58, an even more handsome 110 the following term, 106 the season after that and 103 when finishing third in 1960-61.
*Their total of 61 points in 1958-59 (when only two were awarded for a win) was three more than they had managed in 1953-54 when holding off Albion’s challenge and becoming English champions for the first time. It was three fewer than they amassed, though, when finishing top in 1957-58.
*Maybe surprisingly, there were no ever-presents in Cullis’s squad 60 seasons ago. The closest to the mark were Broadbent and full-back Gerry Harris, who each played 40 games.
*Wolves would have topped the pile by even more than the six points they had in hand on runners-up Manchester United had it not been for a familiar menace……Bolton took three points out of four against them and also ended their hopes of honours on another front by beating them 2-1 in an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Burnden Park.
*Success came despite a sobering start. In the first week of the campaign, Wolves lost 2-0 at newly-promoted West Ham and fared even worse on a quick return to London by crashing 6-2 at a Jimmy Greaves-inspired Chelsea.
*Wolves reeled off five straight wins in March, including the spectacular 6-1 eclipse of Arsenal, a 3-0 romp at Birmingham and a 5-2 taming of Albion at Molineux.
*In doffing our caps once more to the heroic of Stan Cullis, his players and all concerned at Molineux, we ask ourselves this one final question: Were the gold and black masses starting to get too used to success? The attendances at the end-of-season home games against Luton and Leicester both topped 40,000 but even that figure was around 4,000 down on the gate for the European Cup visit of Schalke in November and 12,000 below that for the opening-day home win over Nottingham Forest.