Frequent Visitors

Familiar Away Days – But A Capital Return At Last

Mike Bailey – among the goals for Wolves when they were highly familiar London visitors in the early 1970s.

Has there ever been a run like this? Have Wolves ever had to make so many successive trips to London for away games?

West Ham on October 1, Chelsea on the 8th, Crystal Palace on the 18th and, today, Brentford on the 29th mean the squad and their supporters have become very familiar with the M40 or M1.

It isn’t unique in the club’s history to be sent to the capital four times in a row on League away-days but it hasn’t previously happened like this in a calendar month.

In 1970-71, Bill McGarry’s side were at West Ham on November 14 (3-3), Palace on November 28 (1-1), Arsenal on December 12 (lost 2-1) and Tottenham on December 19 (0-0). And, in that reasonably successful campaign, they also had a Texaco Cup assignment to Derry thrown on December 1.

Also, in 1971-72, they had a trio of consecutive away League trips to London – to Chelsea (lost 3-1), Spurs (lost 4-1) and West Ham (lost 1-0) in the space of 22 days of October. It was a run again interrupted by flying further afield, in this case to Den Haag in the UEFA Cup.

There have been other examples of Wolves playing three away games in a row in the capital but not four like now.

John Burridge….up against it as the last line of Wolves’ defence on their triple mission to London nearly 40 years ago.

In March, 1984, they went to West Ham (drew 1-1), Arsenal (lost 4-1) and Spurs (lost 1-0) and, in 2004-05, they were sent to Millwall on January 22 (won 2-1), QPR on Feb 22 (drew 1-1) and Arsenal in the FA Cup on January 29 (lost 2-0).

Coming a decade more up to date, they visited West Ham (won 3-1), Arsenal (lost 1-0) and Fulham (drew 0-0) on March 23, April 3 and April 17 in 2010 and they were at Spurs (won 2-0), Arsenal (lost 2-1) and West Ham (lost 1-0) in the space of 15 days last February.

Such is the forthcoming gap in fixtures that supporters could be forgiven for not knowing where the next away game is. For those who haven’t checked, it is at Everton on Boxing Day – the small matter of almost eight weeks away.

And it is moderately pleasing for us to be able to record the fact Wolves have today stopped this losing trot in the big city by taking a point on their second visit to Brentford’s new stadium.

*John Richards and Kenny Hibbitt will join authors Steve Gordos and Clive Corbett in signing copies of their Golden Glow book in Waterstone’s, Wolverhampton, on Thursday, November 10 (3pm-5pm).

Thomas Publications