You Really Couldn’t Have Made This Up!

Molineux Groans Weren’t Restricted To The Stands

Paul Ince at his induction to football’s National Hall of Fame a season and a half ago.

It’s rare for those who actually went to a match to ask those who stayed in the warm to watch it on TV for a better insight into what happened.

But the bizarre events in the BBC studio at Molineux on Tuesday made the underwhelming FA Cup replay against Liverpool one of those occasions.

That the surreal interruptions from what we had best describe as ‘adult’ sound effects occured on the watch of Gary Lineker, Paul Ince and others made it all the more newsworthy.

Lineker himself later appeared on BBC Newsnight to discuss the episode, which evidently occured after a serial prankster had taped a mobile phone to the back of the set and then rung it several times while the pundits were giving their views.

The distractions and subsequent search for the offending device will probably go down as the main talking point of a replay that was in marked contrast to the high-tempo and high-drama first meeting at Anfield 12 days ago.

It certainly gave those at the match something to catch up on when they returned home after the Cup holders’ second successive 1-0 Molineux victory.

The story also set us thinking of other strange happenings at Wolves games in recent decades and we came up with this short list, exclusively set in the 1990s, which you may be able to add to.

May, 1992: Molineux was bizarrely targeted by arsonists on two separarte nights before a last-day-of-the-season home game against Middlesbrough, with devices submerged in the pitch and a fire set off in the club offices in Waterloo Road.

November, 1993: Kick-off delayed was seriously at the prestige Wolves v Honved friendly that was arranged to mark the official opening of the redeveloped stadium. A power shortage was cited as the reason and the floodlights were on partial strength throughout the 1-1 midweek draw.

Steve Bull…..always in demand.

October, 1996: Not again! Kick-off was delayed at the England v Poland under-23 international that was being shown live on Sky Sports. This time it was because of a suspicious package spotted in a bin in the John Ireland Stand. It required expert attention and ultimately detonation by the armed services, so the game could start at 10pm. All that for a 0-0 draw – and the suspect item was found to be nothing worse than a cheese and onion sandwich.

November, 1998: At least this one occurred on someone else’s patch, although an undeniable gold and black theme was present thanks to some half-time fisticuffs between Wolfie and the Three Little Piggies of Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Headlines centred round the skirmish went worldwide – certainly much further than news of Wolves’ biggest away win (6-1) for 21 years.

To return to a note of greater normality, Ince, who had Danny Murphy alongside him, left the smiles, embarrassed looks and humorous remarks to Lineker – and predicted that the season would turn out fine for Wolves.

At a safe distance from the goings-on in the Billy Wright Stand studio was Steve Bull, who was interviewed by the BBC’s Kelly Somers at pitch-side at half-time.

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