Club Games In June? It Has Often Happened
……But Only On Wolves’ Overseas Travels
Continuing our topical theme of Wolves on their travels, how is this for something of a contradiction in terms?
The club have never played a League fixture in June but many’s the time they have nevertheless found this a congested month.
Older supporters can probably guess the years in which this was the case due to playing a long way from home but look hard at the years in question and a definite pattern emerges.
June was particularly busy for Wolves in 1951, 1963, 1967 and 1972 – none of them World Cup years and therefore more suitable for the arranging of long overseas tours.
No fewer than eight of the matches on the six-week trip to South Africa in 1951 were played in this month, as were seven games when Stan Cullis took his squad to Canada and America 12 years later.
Other managers had or had to acquire the travel bug. Ronnie Allen was in charge when Wolves again crossed the Atlantic and famously won the 1967 United Soccer Association League, thanks largely to a playing record of five wins, three draws and one defeat from June 4-30.
The club’s return to the USA in 1969 was confined to May but the incredible travels of three summers later could not have been as extensive as they were without eating into this calendar month and eight matches were played in June in New Zealand and Australia before the flight home on the 20th.
That marked the end of both the punishingly long tours and the handing-over of June to globe-trotting and money-making enterprises.
Wolves haven’t played a single first-team game since in this particular month – the finals of World Cups, European Championships and other international tournament have helped see to that.
No doubt the penny has also dropped, though, that players require summer recovery time more than they need to add stamps to their passport.
The latest date on which Wolves have finished a League campaign is May 31, when their last-day defeat at home to Liverpool cost them the chance to win the 1946-47 League Championship.