In 2009, Wolverhampton Wanderers took welcome steps to further honour their heroes with the setting-up of a Hall Of Fame. The dinner to officially recognise inductees has become a hugely popular, sell-out annual occasion in the luxurious hospitality area of Molineux’s Billy Wright Stand.
The club themselves provide lengthy write-ups of these glittering nights, as well as detailed accounts of why individuals – or even teams – have been chosen. So please check their website for much, much more.
This, however, is our brief overview of the Hall Of Fame – a VIP club that became even more prominent with the unveiling in 2012 of a superb museum in the towering new Stan Cullis Stand.
Inductees to date (in chronological and then alphabetical order):
2009 – Steve Bull, Stan Cullis, Ron Flowers, Jackery Jones, Derek Parkin, Billy Wright (6).
2010 – Mike Bailey, Peter Broadbent, Billy Harrison, John Richards, Bill Slater, Graham Turner, Bert Williams (7).
2011 – Derek Dougan, Sir Jack Hayward, Kenny Hibbitt, Jimmy Mullen, Roy Swinbourne, the 2003 play-off final winning team (6).
2013 – Major Frank Buckley, the triumphant 1954 team against Honved, Malcolm Finlayson, Andy Mutch, Dave Wagstaffe (5).
2015 – Johnny Hancocks, John McAlle (2).
2017 – Jack Brodie, Frank Munro, Andy Thompson, Dennis Westcott (4).
2023 – Alf Bishop, Jack Davies, Robbie Dennison, Joe Gardiner, Geoff Palmer, Phil Parkes, Mike Stowell, Dennis Wilshaw (8).
(There were no inductees in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 or 2022).
The ultimate leader and warrior who gave over a decade of his career to the gold and black cause. Wolves’ midfield was always a more powerful unit with him in. Honoured by England with two senior caps and the 1967 Midlands Footballer of the Year award.
The second Wolves 1908 FA Cup winner to be inducted and what a leader this defender sounds. He showed his toughness by bouncing back from a broken jaw for the final, his durability and longevity later earning him the captaincy in a stay of 382 games.
What a talent! To many fans of a certain age, he was a favourite among a team of legends. Genial and with a razor-sharp cutting edge, his goals and ‘assists’ would make him worth a king’s ransom today. An England star of his day, too – of course.
Talk about being in on things from day one… utility man ’Jack’ was a founder member of the club, born in the town and later to serve as a director. His 65 first-team games included the 1889 FA Cup final and he also won three England caps.
Visionary’ is a word often applied to the Boer War veteran. Not only was he ahead of his time in seeing football’s future, he developed a brilliant youth policy at Molineux and set the seeds for the greatness that followed under Stan Cullis.
Well, he has a stand named after him, so he has to be in there! He became the youngest individual inductee to date and is still a very frequent visitor to Molineux, where those 306 goals and numerous battle scars help to assure him of the warmest of welcomes.
One outstanding career – as a player – was interrupted by the war and then ended early by injury. So the former Wolves and England captain carved out another as a brilliant, trophy-laden manager, who apparently had a thing about discipline.
Jack Davies helped see to it that Stan Cullis stayed at Wolves as a player, then talked the Molineux management out of giving up on a young Billy Wright. If he had achieved nothing else in around 50 years as a trainer – and he did loads! – those acts were enough.
‘Wizard of the wing’ is a very appropriate term here. For a decade, the genial Irishman glided across Molineux, providing quality service for others and scoring almost 50 goals. Did someone once point out he had a flair for scoring spectacularly in big games?
The prince of entertainers would have loved this accolade. So sad that it had to be posthumous. The Doog was one of the game’s most recognised show-men and ended his club-hopping years by finding Molineux to be his spiritual home and stage.
In another era, the brave Scot – the only Wolves keeper ever to win two League title medals – would have had a host of internationals caps. But he headed for England when the practice was frowned upon by some and had to settle for club glory, lots of it!
Another to have captained his club and country. This most famous of all Wath Wanderers left Yorkshire to make the West Midlands his home and contributed hugely to the glory years at Molineux. Unlike many England players, he also knew how to take a penalty.
Bachelor Joe was virtually married to Wolves after slipping through the north-east net, emerging as not only an excellent pre-war wing-half but also as Stan Cullis’s right-hand man for donkey’s years and, later, as a scout for much longer than that.
Wolves have never had a more feared and explosive right-winger than this tiny son of Shropshire. Johnny was scared of flying, otherwise he would have won many more England caps, and he remains the club’s fourth highest scorer of all time.
Like Jackery Jones, an FA Cup winner with Wolves in 1908, the speedy winger scoring a beauty in the final at Crystal Palace. Played almost 350 matches for the club and was such an expert of his trade that he subsequently signed for Manchester United.
Did so much for the club by taking control and leading them away from any lingering threat of oblivion. Massively generous with a sense of fun that lit up any room, he financed not only team rebuilding but also the first stadium redevelopment. A true giver.
The dream goal-scoring midfielder, even at Wembley. Discovered for a pittance and then a thorn in the side of opponents far and wide with his industry, fierce shooting and will to win. Just look again at our Legends area to see everything he achieved for the club.
Shropshire-born defender who arrived in this world the year Wolves were formed and racked up over 330 outings at a time when games were less plentiful than today. Became the club trainer and lived up to yesteryear stereotypes by regularly smoking a pipe.
It took time for Wolves to identify the best position for ‘Scouse’, who struck up a long and dependable pairing with Frank Munro in the centre of the club’s defence. Outstayed his partner by four years and was never anything but a fully committed campaigner.
Blooded at 16 and still going strong in his mid-30s. The Geordie was the ‘left’ part of the club’s feared post-war wing combination, with an extraordinary ability to cross on the run. His death in 1987 led to the club’s Former Players Association being formed.
Much-admired and elegant defender who had been viewed as an inside-forward back home in a country for whom he won nine caps. One of Ronnie Allen’s later and best signings for the club, he is in the all-time top 20 Wanderers appearance-makers.
Bouncing pay cheques were a feature of Molineux life when Sammy Chapman brought Andy Mutch south in 1986. But the striker played a huge part in Wolves’ renaissance with his 106 goals for the club, the vast majority of them in partnership with Steve Bull.
What a wonderful local-boy-made-good story this is! The Cannock-born full-back was a fixture in the club’s defence for well over a decade, with two League Cup triumphs, a substantial taste of the captaincy and some semi-final heartbreak along the way.
Could there be a more popular inductee than the guy who embraces Wolverhampton life as much as anyone from the playing ranks? And to think he was born in West Bromwich! Desperately unlucky to miss out on Wembley glory, this master story teller is pure gold.
Recognised as the best uncapped English full-back of his generation and might have been even more formidable had he remained as a right-back rather than being switched to no 3. Has played more Wolves games than any other man alive or dead – what an honour!
Was first spotted in a schools tournament and blossomed into such a feared finisher that, in another era, he would have won many more than his solitary senior England cap. Was the club’s top all-time scorer for nearly a decade and a half. He was pure dynamite!
His story is a truly incredible one….from playing in an FA Cup final as an amateur to serving Wolves as a part-timer to captaining a winning team at Wembley to being named Footballer of the Year. Has an OBE, CBE and England caps on top of all that.
He didn’t play in the top flight but he has done pretty much everything else in his outstanding career. Tall and commanding, he exuded confidence and huge loyalty in becoming Wolves’ all-time most used keeper. Now he is a champion coach and title-winner to boot.
What might have become of this sizzling centre-forward had fate not dealt him the cruellest hand with a career-ending injury in his mid-20s? Plundered goals against the cream of England and Europe and has thankfully been a class act in business as well.
Started as an Albion midfielder and, over a decade later, was hailed as an outstandingly consistent Molineux full-back – one who despatch a mean penalty. This double lower-division title winner was also a Sherpa Van Trophy hero and is a Wolves fan to boot.
As if winning successive lower-division titles and a Wembley cup final aren’t enough, this boyhood Wolves fan also happens to be the man who brought Steve Bull to Molineux. Very much one of those who led the club away from the 1980s brink.
A whole generation of Molineux loyalists were thrilled when a Hall of Fame place was found for the winger who lit up the club for well over a decade. What a provider he was for Derek Dougan, John Richards and co! And sometimes a spectacular scorer, too.
The tag ‘goal machine’ aptly fits a no 9 whose rampaging spanned the war years and those before and after. His scoring tally of 124 in 144 peacetime games included a then club-best 43 in 1938-39, the highlight a Cup semi-final four-timer against Grimsby.
The best and most famous goalkeeper Wolves have ever had – full of daring, agility and poise. Not for nothing was he nicknamed The Cat. Won 24 England caps as well as FA Cup and League Championship medals and was awarded an MBE in his 90s.
He was never full-time at Wolves but won two League title medals, was close to a place in Stan Cullis’s team of 1949 FA Cup heroes and scored ten goals in 12 England games. What might he have achieved if he hadn’t devoted much of his working life to teaching?
The most golden Wanderer of the lot. Immortalised for winning 105 England caps – the vast majority as captain – and a Wolves first-teamer for 20 years. Utterly loved by all who knew him and has a statue and a showpiece stand in his honour at the stadium.
Molineux’s most famous ever game was not a League blockbuster, nor a big cup-tie. It was a friendly – in name at least. This titanic clash was a matter of national pride, followed avidly by the whole country and brilliantly won by Stan Cullis’s men.
For many fans, May 26, 2003, was a day without rival; the Bank Holiday afternoon on which Wolves blew Sheffield United away to reach the Premier League for the first time. Three first half goals, then a Matt Murray penalty save – could it get any better?