It’s Easter – But Not As We Know It

Sad Silence Of A Big Holiday Weekend With No Match

Wolves in Easter action at Huddersfield in 1954, just before the League title came to Molineux for the first time.

We used to be told that Easter was the time for football issues to go a long way towards being resolved; when teams pulled away from or sank into danger, or virtually secured or lost a promotion place.

It was surely never meant to be like it is this weekend for Wolves – sitting at home in the middle of a 16-day break between fixtures.

Manchester City’s involvement in the FA Cup semi-finals has brought about the hugely frustrating spell of inactivity and, much though we will look forward to their arrival at Molineux somewhat later than planned, the wait for action in the meantime will be a test.

It will also bemuse players and fans from the past who were used to this being a hectic, breathless and in some ways over-the-top time of year on the sport’s calendar.

Remember these happy holidays or fixture pile-ups from the past 60 years?

ON THE BRINK: 2009 – By no means the most frantic schedule but a Good Friday 3-0 trouncing of Southampton at Molineux on Good Friday was followed by a thrilling 3-2 Monday afternoon win at Derby that left Mick McCarthy’s Wolves a win away from tying up promotion.

FIRING UP: 2003 – Wolves booked their play-off place with a 3-0 teatime win away to the Norwich team who had ended their promotion dreams the year before. It was a second emphatic victory for Dave Jones’s side in just over 48 hours after Millwall had been defeated by the same score on the Saturday at Molineux.

A SOUTHERN TOUR: 1980 – The club haven’t had an Easter like this since. They followed up a Saturday home defeat against Tottenham by winning 3-0 at Southampton on the Monday lunchtime and then lsoing by the same score at Brighton 36 hours later. Three games of mixed fortunes in four days.

HAPPY HIBBY: 1975 – Kenny Hibbitt scored four goals across four days of Easter combat, made up by a Saturday winner at home to Manchester City and a hat-trick against Luton at the same venue two days later. He also played in the side beaten 3-0 at Tottenham on Good Friday.

John Oldfield – had a bizarre Easter 52 years ago.

KEEPER CAPERS: 1970 – As if Arsenal away (March 28), Liverpool at home (March 30) and West Ham away (March 31) wasn’t a tough enough schedule for John Oldfield and his team-mates, it became madder still when he saved penalties in the first two games but was still dropped in favour of Phil Parkes for the third.

DOOG’S BIG ARRIVAL: 1967 – A maximum six points sent the Second Division promotion challenge into overdrive with a 4-0 crushing of Hull and then away and home wins over Huddersfield on the Monday and Tuesday. The first game was Derek Dougan’s home debut and he marked it with a hat-trick.

GOALS GALORE: 1963 – Twelve goals came in four wonderful days and Wolves fans didn’t have to travel beyond Birmingham to catch them all. Title-chasing Burnley were slammed 7-2 at Molineux, then Villa found themselves on the receiving end of a derby double (aggregate score: 5-1) on Monday and Tuesday.

Thomas Publications