Unrecognisable! A Whole New Culture

Albion v Wolves In The Cup The Last Time – So Utterly Different

Sir Jack Hayward in one of Molineux’s guest rooms.

It was Sir Jack Hayward who said he preferred his footballers to have names like Cullis, Slater and Wright rather than ‘all these Viallis, Vieiras and Viagras’.

Which presumably means he very much approved of what those who made up the last Wolves team to play an FA Cup tie away to Albion were called.

Hayward was seven and hadn’t even made the first of his cost-dodging crawls under the Molineux turnstiles when his home-town club embarked on the short journey to The Hawthorns for a quarter-final tie on the last day of February in 1931.

We have already recorded that the Baggies went through despite being held to a 1-1 draw in the first meeting but the listing of the Wolves side (the same 11 players were used in both games) reveals a more home-spun feel than will be present in the in-form line-up Gary O’Neil selects at the same venue on Sunday.

There were four Yorkshiremen while keeper Alf Tootill came from the town of Ramsbottom not far over the border into Lancashire. A sixth team member, Reg Hollingworth, was from Rainworth in north Nottinghamshire.

Might we assume that the work of Mark Crook was already coming to bear and the seeds for what would come to be known as the famous Wath Wanderers nursery in south Yorkshire were being sewn? 

Major Frank Buckley’s squad also had local talent. Third-round scorer Nathan Fraser stood alone and proud seven nights ago as the sole Wulfrunian in the games against Brentford but, in 1930-31, centre-forward and top scorer Billy Hartill and wing-half Dicky Rhodes were both from the town.

Of the others, right-back Wilf Lowton came from Exeter and the nearest the dressing room had to any foreign influence came from right-winger Cuthbert Williams and inside-forward Jimmy Deacon.

Williams, known almost exclusively as Charlie, was from Victoria in Monmouthshire while Deacon, who scored Wolves’ goal in their 2-1 replay defeat against Albion, was a Glaswegian born to Irish parents.

Compare all those backgrounds to the geographical roots possessed by the present-day squad!

One other point worth making about those Cup rivals 93 seasons ago….both Wolves and Albion were in the Second Division, albeit not for much longer.

Billy Hartill…..a proud Wulfrunian in Wolves’ attack of yesteryear.

Albion went up that season as runners-up to Everton while Wolves won the Division Two title the following year. 

Wolves’ team against Albion in those all-Black Country 1931 quarter-final ties was: Alf TOOTILL, Wilf LOWTON, Albert KAY, George LEX, Reg HOLLINGWORTH, Dicky RHODES, Charlie PHILLIPS, Walter BOTTRILL, Billy HARTILL, Jimmy DEACON, Bill BARRACLOUGH.

*Some fans may have forgotten or been unaware that Stan Cullis’s Wanderers have played two FA Cup ties at The Hawthorns since facing Albion there in the competition.

Towards the end of 1959-60, their trip to neutral territory resulted in them beating Villa 1-0 in the semi-final before going on to beat Blackburn 3-0 at Wembley. And they beat the same local opponents there 3-0 in the snow in a fourth-round second replay in 1964-65.

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