Some Of The Happiest New Years

Memorable Days After The Night Before

Steve Bull - scourge of St James' Park.
Steve Bull – scourge of St James’ Park.

Two of Wolves’ greatest goalscorers have been behind their most spectacular ever victories on this, the first day of a new year.

Steve Bull’s astonishing feat of netting four times in the second half of a memorable Second Division game at Newcastle in 1989-90 takes pride of place, the striker rewarding the nine plane loads of Wolves fans who had travelled to the north-east on this most remarkable of away days.

It was the afternoon on which he kick-started his bid for inclusion in England’s World Cup squad and came two years to the day after he had scored both goals in the Fourth Division home win over Hereford at Molineux.

The two games added up to six goals by Bully on this date and his play-alike from half a century earlier, Dennis Westcott, made a similar January 1 impact by getting on the score sheet in a 4-2 win at Manchester City in 1937-38 and then plundering a hat-trick when Ted Vizard’s side won by the same score at Middlesbrough ten years later.

Newcastle, Middlesbrough….is a theme developing here? Yes, definitely.

The north-east and east coast has been happy hunting territory for the club on this date down the decades, as underlined by their 2-1 and 3-2 victories at Sunderland in 1899-1900 and 1956-57 respectively, a 3-2 win at Durham City in 1923-24, their 2-0 success at Grimsby in 1991-92 – even a Cyrille Regis-secured 1-0 triumph at Peterborough in 1993-94 if we can stretch the geographical point that far.

Even when they drew 0-0 at South Shields 94 years ago today, there must have been celebrations of a kind. It was a big imporovement after Wolves, even without a Richards and a Wright in their team, had lost 10-3

But it wasn’t always thus. Today is also the 124th anniversary of a 6-3 hammering at Accrington – an unhappy experience they avenged exactly 12 months later with a 2-1 win at the same venue. They also lost 2-0 at ‘The Wednesday’ on January 1, 1901, and 4-0 there three years later to the day.

Dennis Westcott - a true goal machine either side of the last war.
Dennis Westcott – a true goal machine either side of the last war.

There are other curiosities surrounding this date on the calendar in Wolves’ history – enough to have them nursing a major grievance with the fixture planners.

Not until the visit of Hull in 1920-21 did the club play a home game on New Year’s Day and, by then, they had fulfilled no fewer than nine away matches on this date.


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