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Scoring Spread That We Want To Be Thing Of The Past
So how many players have scored goals for Wolves in three different divisions?
The upwardly mobile Graham Turner generation spring immediately to mind, so do those who served Kenny Jackett well at a level the club were shocked and embarrassed to be playing at seven seasons ago.
You might also assume the downward spiral of the mid-1980s would have dragged another few names in – but you would be wrong.
Not a single player netted in all of Wolves’ consecutive relegation seasons of 1983-84, 1984-85 and 1985-86, although Danny Crainie was among the scorers in the first and last of them, as well as playing 13 times in the fall from the Second Division in between.
The club’s only previous taste of lower-division football was six decades earlier, the sole season they had in the Third Division North in 1923-24 being sufficiently isolated for none of the marksmen in that title-winning campaign to have also netted in the First Division, whether that’s earlier or later.
In other words, Wolves had well over a decade and a half in the Second Division before dropping down a grade and then took another eight seasons afterwards to regain their top-flight place in 1932.
There was no such stability or stagnation in the 1980s. The club hurtled downwards at break-neck speed and then quickly regrouped and started the long climb back.
Not many players stayed long enough during the descent to play in three different divisions, though, and only two men have appeared in gold and black in all four divisions.
One is Geoff Palmer, although his 1980s Molineux service had a break in the form of a stint at Burnley. He played only one match in the basement division and was replaced by Neil Edwards in that 1-0 home win over Preston – the last of his colossal 496 Wolves appearances.
The other was Paul Dougherty, the tiny midfielder who played the final five matches of the Division One relegation season and a total of a further 19 League games over the next three years, albeit with goals in only the middle two of them.
There are no prizes for guessing that Steve Bull and Andy Mutch led the way in scoring in the Fourth, Third and Second Divisions for Turner’s Wolves, nor for remembering that penalty king Andy Thompson and Robbie Dennision made frequent appearances on the score-sheet, too.
Gary Bellamy and Keith Downing are others who netted in all three divisions on the way up while Matt Doherty, Kevin Doyle, Dave Edwards, Kevin Foley and Richard Stearman achieved the feat of hitting the target in League One, the Championship and Premier League, in one order or another.
There is one other man who scored in three divisions for Wolves and who doesn’t fit into any of the above categories.
Left-back David Barnes netted once in the Second in 1984-85, once in the Third the year after and twice in the Fourth another 12 months on. They were the only four goals he scored for the club.
Happy as we are to give our readers an insight into this rare group, we close with the fervent wish that it is now a closed one and no future Wolves players turn out for the club in the third tier.