So Good They Signed Them Twice
Matt Doherty be warned…..not all returning Wolves players have been as happy or as fortunate second time round.
The re-signing of the Republic of Ireland international has had us delving into the history books to see how many others had put in a follow-up stint at Molineux and we came up with these, which we present in alphabetical order.
Belfast-born centre-half BILLY BURNS played in the USA and Ireland in between two 1920s Wolves spells that brought him a meagre total of four appearances. Once represented the Irish League against the Football League.
WAYNE CLARKE came up with 170 games and 33 goals before leaving Wolves and going off to Birmingham, Manchester City, Leicester, Everton and others. Brought back to his roots, he lasted barely 20 minutes of a game at Southend before a rib injury curtailed his loan stay with Graham Turner’s squad.
Wulfrunian JACK DOWEN is much better known as a Wolves trainer but had two spells with the club as a full-back in the 1930s, emerging from the shadows of more senior men to total 12 League games and more in wartime. Played for West Ham in between.
Another to put substantial distance between twice signing at Molineux was PETER EASTOE, who scored a single goal in ten games there at the start of his career and returned more than a decade later for brief and unremarkable loan service in 1985.
The only man to have two Wolves stints of 100-plus games is NEIL EMBLEN – maker of 104 appearances up to the summer of 1997 when he joined Crystal Palace a few weeks before Jamie Smith did. Came back the following spring for a further 130 matches.
BOBBY GOULD was another to deliver handsomely not once but twice. Sold to Albion after scoring 25 goals in 52 first-team games, he was again courted by Bill McGarry, this time amid the threat of relegation in 1976, and obliged with 14 in 41 appearances.
At Wolves as a boy and given 36 first-team games, big centre-half BOB HAZELL is another who returned briefly amid the mid-1980s crisis. Had more joy in between at QPR but it was from Leicester that he signed at Molineux for an injury-ruined loan.
One of two keepers on this list is PAUL JONES, out of whom Wolves got 70 games without benefitting from his best years. Signed from Kidderminster in 1991, he excelled at Stockport and Southampton before coming back in 2004 under his favourite manager, Dave Jones.
Weren’t 471 Wolves games enough for GEOFF PALMER? Apparently not! The double League Cup-winning full-back came home from Burnley to add another 24 matches in the mid-1980s and become one of only two men to play for the club in all four divisions.
Black Countryman FRANK POPE, an inside-right, condensed his two periods of Wanderers service into the early years of the 20th century and didn’t make a lasting impression. He had only 13 senior outings to his name when he left, for the second time, in 1906.
No prizes if you remembered BARRY POWELL – another 1974 League Cup finalist among his tally of 86 appearances for McGarry’s Wolves. Coventry and Derby were among the clubs he served before returning in 1986 and combining coaching duties with playing.
Recalling MIKE STOWELL as a two-time player here might be more difficult as he had an injury-shortened loan spell in 1988-89 before moving permanently from Everton in the summer of 1990. It’s frequently stated that his 448 games make him the most used keeper in Wolves history.
The prolific HAROLD WOOD is the only man who has had a century or more of Wolves goals spread across two spells. The England international and three-time FA Cup finalist performed his magic in the late 19th century and also served Walsall and Kidderminster.
*Wolves’ record books tell us that the Reverend Kenneth Hunt had eight separate spells as an amateur at the club, so that is perhaps a story for another time!