It started off as an on-field presentation, occasionally switched to other venues such as one of Wolverhampton’s best-known nightspots and then became concentrated on Molineux after Sir Jack Hayward’s spectacular stadium redevelopment a quarter of a century ago.
Still, though, the eagerly-awaited unveiling night for the club’s main Player of the Year award has had other homes, such as the Civic Hall in the middle of the 1990s and, in the last few years, the spacious and stylish Telford International Centre. So how many of the recipients can you remember? And you may be surprised by some of the omissions from the 1970s. Here’s the complete list and a reminder of who you may have forgotten……
Various of the photos below, especially the more recent ones, are courtesy of Wolves and we thank them for their cooperation. Fans looking to have a flutter can head over to bet365 and either place a bet on the team or on which players will be the goalscorers.
What more can be said of this wonderfully watchable play-maker and talent? He might have departed earlier but buckled down to another year at the club and emerged as an inspiring, lead-by-example captain on top of everything else he has offered. He hasn’t been a moment’s trouble to anyone at Molineux – other than accumulating too many bookings anyway – and has remained pure class in becoming another two-time winner of this award.
Keepers have featured strongly as Wolves’ star performers and the bearded giant stepped up impressively when signed in the summer of 2021. His countryman, Rui Patricio, had left a sizeable hole by departing to Roma but the transition was smooth as his replacement won over the Molineux masses immediately. He was a virtual ever-present in his first English season and part of Portugal’s senior set-up along the way.
This was a tough season for many at Molineux, not least because of covid and the speed with which it emptied grounds. But the twinkle-toed youngster coped superbly, using those exciting advances down the wing to become a regular scorer in a side who took some backward steps in Nuno’s final months. Handed his international chance by Portugal, the former Braga and Lazio player surprised no-one by scoring on his debut.
From Northern Ireland to Armenia, Italy to Portugal, the brilliant centre-forward was at the goal-scoring heart of an utterly epic Wolves season. With 27 goals in his 55 club appearances in that far-reaching campaign, no wonder he became the first man since Steve Bull in the second half of the 1990s to retain his POTY award. Here’s the proof of what a feat that was….only Paul Bradshaw, in the early 1980s, had previously done so.
A popular third successive overseas conquest after the previous 16 years brought 14 winners from these islands. The tall no 9 is Wolves’ first Mexican and what a player he is! He scored on his Premier League debut, accumulated steadily throughout the season for club and country and made a copper-bottomed case for Wolves to sign him permanently. Chelsea twice, Spurs twice, Liverpool, Manchester United, even Uruguay….he made them all suffer.
As the Iberian influence at Molineux grew stronger and stronger, there were some memorable goals in Wolves’ runaway Championship triumph – and then there was that absolute stunner against Derby. But what else would you expect from such a class act? Here is a prodigious talent who repeatedly shows maturity beyond his years. No wonder Portuguese football is in such a healthy state. Thank-you, Nuno. Thank-you, Porto. Thank-you, Jorge Mendes.
The talented former Benfica and Monaco man was up and down like a bouncing football at the club’s glitzy Player of the Year night at Telford as he was feted for his first English season during several visits to the stage. His 12 goals included some real beauties and lit up a disappointing Molineux campaign in which he also played brilliantly in the epic win at Liverpool.
Another coup for the defenders as the dependable Dubliner took his turn up on the stage at Telford’s International Centre. Solid displays at full-back during a generally forgettable Molineux season were illuminated by continued occasional demonstrations of his ability to come up with a special goal. Not for seven years had this main award been won by an Irishman.