Adventures in Football #4: I can see Molineux from my Uni window
October 18, 1997
Wolves 3 Swindon 1
In 1997 I’d finished dossing around at the local college and I’d gone to university, proper, in Wolverhampton. It was an eye-opening experience and part of that was being in a bigger city with bigger attractions. The uni building I was in overlooked Molineux*. The ground is open on the corners and you could see right into it. The head lecturer’s office actually had a view of around a quarter of the pitch. The temptation to sneak in there on a Saturday was pretty overwhelming and eventually I just gave in to my urges and bought a ticket to see Wolves play. Two tickets, actually. My mate Leigh from Finstall wanted to go and he drove. I already had a sneaky parking space lined up thanks to my university credentials and we strolled in from nearby**.
*If you look at the picture above you can see the university buildings. It’s the tall one that can clearly see into the top corner of Molineux. Also, if local knowledge excites you, Redwings is just down the road to the right there.
**You can see the parking spaces too, just to the left of the uni buildings.
Having been to a game in the Euros the previous year and getting an energy for football in general it confuses me, looking back, that this was the last game I went to for 13 years. I can only hold alcohol responsible. That and getting a job that involves working on a weekend. Also, a love of professional wrestling that saw me regularly away at weekends watching shows and sinking beers with the lads.
^I was sat around where the S is on the right hand stand for perspective.
Going to Molineux is one of my favourite memories of my time in Wolves and I’ve been back to Wolves loads since thanks it becoming a hotbed for European wrestling and every time I walk past Molineux I get a nice nostalgic feeling for that autumn afternoon in the late 90s. It was one of the best games I’d seen live. It had a great atmosphere. There was a lad in our block who kept yelling two things; “run him into the box” and “there’s no one at the far post”. Those were his footballing beliefs and Wolves were not upholding them! He felt very strongly about it and the fact I can still, to this day, remember what he was yelling should tell you how frequently he yelled them. The temptation to yell “run him into the box” on every attack was palpable.
Wolves won pretty comfortably. Dougie Freedman, on loan from Palace, scored the opener. They gave away a penalty for 1-1 but scored two late on. One from Keith Curle and the other a screamer from Paul Simpson. My main memory remains the sending off though. One of the Swindon players committed a vicious leg breaking lunge and got a straight red. Steve Bull got involved afterwards though and got sent off as well. My one time seeing the footballing legend Bully and he didn’t disappoint. They named a stand after him. I’m pretty sure it was only red card. Making history for me. What a man.
My Dad is a Wolves fan. He went to loads of Wolves games. He’s still got a stack of old programmes from match days. He went to see them play Spurs in the UEFA Cup final. I’m glad I was able to follow in his footsteps and go to Molineux. It was a good day out.
Seeing as I’ve spent a few night’s out in Wolverhampton I have a few recommendations for drinkies. I love the Hogshead. It has an incredible range and there’s an actual bar in the beer garden. You cannot possibly go in there and try every beer they have and walk out sober. There are usually ten guest taps behind the bar plus what’s on the bar. It’s insane. It’s the best pub in Wolves for beer. They did a dark beer festival in there once and I got completely fucked. Their food is really good, albeit pricey, and I love going there. Across the road is the Royal London, which is a bit hipper with a good beer range, decent food and they have a pool table. I’ve also been known to nip into the Wheatsheaf, which is the opposite of hip. It’s a proper Wolverhampton locals pub. So if you fancy soaking up the local ambience and something closer to a classic pub you could do worse. The Spoons specifically, which is a horrible pub with bad beer.
NEXT: Finally, Goodison