London Wolves 40th Anniversary 1996-2006


London Wolves started in 1966, and the travel club was running regular coach trips to home and away matches and even publishing a Newsletter by 1968.  Derek Dougan was invited to become the London Wolves president and in 1968 wrote for an early newsletter (issue number 3 in 1968)


The Players: Hughie McIlmoyle, Ernie Hunt, John Holsgrove, “Waggy” Dave Wagstaffe, Gerry Taylor, Frank Munro (seated) Graham Hawkins, Terry Wharton, Fred Davies, Bobby Thomson, and Mike Bailey

London Wolves 40th Anniversary Dinner - what happened

some 150 members, ex-players and guests enjoyed a tremendously nostalgic evening at The Valley, thanks to Charlton Athletic Football Club, to celebrate the Wolverhampton Wanderers London Supporters' Club's 40th Anniversary.  Although the members were already getting together, it was 22nd October 1966 when we first arranged travel to a home Wolves match - with Wolves winning 2-1 against Plymouth Argyle.    In celebration 8 of the players from that match joined us - Fred Davies, goalkeeper, Bobby Thomson, left back, Mike Bailey, right half, Terry Wharton, right winger, Ernie Hunt, inside forward and scorer of the winning goal, Hughie McIlmoyle, centre forward, left winger, Waggy, David Wagstaffe and substitute Graham Hawkins (who later became the last manager of Wolves to gain automatic promotion to the top flight).  Although not playing in that match two other important 66-67 promotion team members Gerry Taylor (full back) and John Holsgrove (defender) also joined us together with Frank Munro, a member of the 67 First Division side and promotion and League Cup winner in the 70s. WWLSC's President, goal scoring legend and former Managing Director of the Wolves,  "King" John Richards represented the next generation of Wolves as he was still at school when that match was played!

Here’s how the Express & Star previewed it and the E&S reported it - Saturday August 12th. (although some of us are worried that we missed 20 years somewhere)


For the evening, the Valley's Millennium Suite was a sea of gold and black, with balloons carrying the London Wolves current and 40th anniversary badges.   Each participant was given a reproduction of the Plymouth match programme, with the menu of Van Dyke Melon, Supreme of Chicken, and a large cream gateau printed in the centre pages.  Tower Press and Digiprinters did a terrific job in providing the programme, tickets, place markers and a unique 40th Anniversary magazine (which will be sent to all members) produced by Phil O'Connor.  Phil assembled pictures, match reports, anecdotes, and player profiles from London Wolves past - including the famous report showing teenage London Wolves in the North Bank.   

The players and their partners were our guests at the Ibis, and made a great entrance to the dinner.  They were introduced by John Engleman, shown here with Mike Bailey, one at a time to thunderous applause while compere Anthony Davies read out their Wolves records.   Ernie, perhaps promoting his Joker in the Pack book, made his appearance in a Wolves wig!  He looked nearly young enough to help fill that left wing vacancy in today’s squad!


Stuart Earl, Chairman, opened his speech by referring back to the '68 North Bank picture saying many had told him he hadn't aged from then but Ernie Hunt was quick to point out that the people who'd said that must have been blind.   So quickly on to the thank yous.

First to Richard Collins, Charlton Director, for enabling us to hold the event at the Valley and helping smooth over the many problems of such an event.  

Terry Lynch of Tower Printers and Digiprinters for all the excellent printing

Oceanshade for the London Wolves gold and black balloons

David Dungar from Wolves sponsors Chaucer for their support

Cliff Egan, Wolves Corporate Development Manager, for representing the Club who generously donated a match day hospitality box for 8

Terry Wharton who had contacted all the players (and Sue for taking all the calls!)

And London Wolves members Phil for the newsletter and Stef’s 40th sub-committee (Stef, Phil, John, and Dave) for making the event happen.

Stuart also thanked Ernie’s publishers for getting us in touch with him. Rob had managed to find John Holsgrove, but Ernie chose to remind him he was cr*p at centre half.  John calmly reminded him of when Wolves played Coventry and Ernie didn’t get a look in!

Finally, the biggest thanks, of course to the players and their partners who’d come from all over the UK, from Wolverhampton, Hughie from Carlisle and Ernie from Gloucestershire to be with us

The Express & Star ran an article last week about “Capital Wolves celebrating”.  That led to a phone call from a Peter Kull who had bad memories of that match when only 9 years old he had been injured when a player landed on him in the crowd (yes, it was that close then),  and asked Stoo to pass on his “thanks” to Terry Wharton!!

38 years ago Derek Dougan wrote “I do hope the London Supporters’ Club will be following us up and down he country for many years to come” and Stoo pointed out that for a group of disorganised teenagers WWLSC had done fairly well!  It’s done that because of the hard work of members, especially founder committee members such as Dave Slape. (Ed Doog’s letter is here)

We’d seen the players in the room 40 years ago and they were our heroes – and still are.  And Stuart thanked them again for helping to make Wolves and our club special saying it made him proud to be Chairman.

Stuart handed the mike to Stef Leonard who had had a phone call from Mick McCarthy, appointed manager of Wolves the day before.   Stef had invited him along, if only for a beer, if his flight back from Portugal was in time.  Mick said he wished he could have been with us but was at Faro travelling back and then going up to Molineux. But there will be opportunities in the future. He is absolutely thrilled and delighted to be managing Wolves and can’t wait to start.   Stef had tried to persuade him to come to us when he left the Ireland job.

Stuart finished his speech by sending the Doog’s apologies.   Unfortunately our Life President, Derek "The Doog" Dougan, is suffering from a broken foot, and tried desperately to attend, but was unable to make it.  We wish him a speedy recovery.   Doog sent a brilliant picture to be auctioned. These are  available to purchase from Stoo. (here) Merchandise He also wished to be remembered to everyone, especially the players he knew and played with.

Stoo had also received a “fax” (!!!) from Sir Jack which read:

Thank you so much for your wonderful support over the last 40 years!

Congratulations to every member of London Wolves for such devotion to our Club.

You were founded in 1966 – an historic year for football in England. Let us hope we at Wolves can give you cause for further celebrations this season and in the future.

I am so sorry I cannot be with you – but rest assured I am enormously grateful to you all for your superb loyalty – it is very much appreciated.

Best Wishes

Sir Jack Hayward

John Richards “with 5 minutes notice” spoke on behalf of the players.  He thanked Stuart for arranging a hotel with no bar!

Addressing London Wolves he said we always make the players feel so welcome. There is always an important relationship between former players, current players and the supporters.   “The supporters are paramount because you are the loyal ones, more so now.”  “You’re not going to get loyalty from the directors, the players but you stay – you are loyal – for 40 years.”  “We have some real stalwarts of the club in this room.  People like Mike Bailey, our Captain.  Wolves haven’t seen a captain like him since.  Nor,” he added, “an inside right like Ernie Hunt”.  (Ernie pointed out that Mike still owed him two quid.)   “The former players do like to meet, it’s two years since we last did, and it’s specially good to see Ernie and John Holsgrove who we don’t see that often.  It’s because of you that we are able to meet.”  “These players are the older generation though and you should have had some players for the younger generation of fans”  (Ed: we did invite some current squad but the pre-season at Swansea clashed).  The club should have sent more representatives too.   I hope you get support from the club – you deserve it.

“So, on behalf of the players.  You’ve looked after us, you always do.  We’re going to have a fabulous night here tonight.

“But not in the bar back at the Ibis!”


A short break and it was on to the auctions, raffles, etc.

Amongst other items – 2x retro shirts signed by the players attending tonight, 2x2005-6 squad signed shirts, footballs, some Ferrero Rocher, a DVD player, wine, a gallon of whisky, an iPod, and thanks to Cliff Egan from Wolves, a box for 8 at a home game at Molineux.  The auctions and raffles raised a massive £1295 for the club's coffers.  If you won a signed football in the auction and are missing it please email us here

Finally holiday stays in Thailand and the Bahamas were won by Danielle, and by Annette and Tony.

And to round off the weekend, some of the players enjoyed a leisurely cruise from Greenwich to Westminster on the Sunday morning.

London Wolves 40th Anniversary photographs.

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The Valley, Charlton - now in Gold and Black

guests arrive Carol and Rita selling tickets


The players were assembled in the adjacent bar so they could be introduced one by one

Graham Hawkins and Frank Munro  

Dave Slape with Hughie McIlmoyle and Terry Wharton; while Waggy signs the team photo

Ernie Hunt tells Hughie he’s the best centre forward then poses with Dave Slape

The players’ entrance - first goalkeeper Fred Davies.  173 appearances and followed by Bobby Thomson, left  full back with 299 appearances and 3 goals.   Wonder midfielder captain Mike Bailey who lifted the League Cup appeard 432 times scoring 25 goals and, of course, felt at home at the Valley too.  Another tough midfielder Terry Wharton followed him.  Terry scored 79 goals in his 241 appearancs.  Center forward Hughie McIlmoyle who set us on the  way in the 66 promotion before departing for Bristol scored an amazing 45 goals in 104 appearances.   

Defender Gerry Taylor didn’t play against Plymouth but was a key member of the promotion team and made 192 appearances, scoring one goal.   Ernie Hunt, one of the best inside forwards we ever saw played 82 times scoring 35.   Page further down for his famous donkey kick when at Coventry.  Graham Hawkins was substitute for the Plymouth match, and made 28 appearances, but, of course, he managed Wolves to automatiic promotion 22 years ago.  Another tough centre half Frank Munro joined Wolves in the season back in the top flight and went on to 371 appearances with 19 goals


  John Holsgrove flew in from Spain to be with us and was another 66-67 promotion winner making 202 appearances with 7 goals.  Finally, London Wolves Honorary President John Richards.  “King John was still at school in 66, but, until Bully came along was Wolves record scorer with 194 goals in 486 appearances.  John later became Managing Director of Wolves.   John was followed by WWLSC Chairman and host for the evening Stuart Earl.   


Table 1

Table 2

Table 3 Hughie & Rosalynne

Table 4 JR

Table 5 Peter W

Table 6

Table 8 Waggy & Val

Table 9

Table 10

Table 11 Mike Bailey Dave Slape

Table 12 Graham Hawkins

Table 13

Table 14 - Annette and Tony win the Barbados holiday


So, after dinner, speeches by Stooo and JR (reported above) and then the auctions and raffles run by Anthony Davies and Stef Leonard.

Somehow Stuart and Rita won the wine - which was fortunate given the lack of a bar at the hotel.  Not sure about the size of the box at Molineux though!


The Leonard boys managed to have a fight over The Doog’s signed picture (which he’d donated) before Stef was forced up to £100.

Phil O’Connor won the website competition to win a copy of “Match of My Life - England World Cup” and was presented with his prize by Simon Lowe the author.  Details here.  On me ‘ed Bill - winning signed ball


while the two holidays were won by Danielle (Thailand) and Annette and Tony Hughes (Barbados)

and before lining up for a “squad picture” the players were presented with an engraved souvenir of the occasion. Here are Fred and Bobby receiving their pens


Thanks were given to sponsors of the event - Roy Eagles, John Engleman, Dave Slape, Dave Hodges, and Roy Bowdler as well as, Tower Press and Digiprinters, and Chaucer Consulting. Know The Score Books (Simon Lowe) presented the Match of My Life books for our competitions.  Raffle donations included an iPod from Phil O’C.

Special thanks are due to Richard Collins, Charlton Board Director for all his assistance in securing such an excellent venue (and for allowing it to be turned Gold and Black for the evening.

Thanks also to the dinner committee:  John Engleman, Stef Leonard, Dave Hodges, Phil O’Connor with assistance from Stuart Earl.

Here are some pictures from the Ibis Bar (specially reopened for the purpose after extensive negotiations) and  Sunday’s  river boat trip pictures with the Players from Greenwich Pier to Westminster on the website.  (thanks to Peter Woodifield)

          Ernie        Bobby   Fred x2     Terry On the boat Stef Carol Dave and Chairman Earl with Dave D  Stef   and Charing X pier


Unfortunately one of the sponsors could not attend the dinner - Roy Eagles.   He was otherwise occupied at his son’s wedding


Doog’s letter November 68

The first travel was arranged to the Plymouth match at home on October 22nd 1966.  The teamsheet for that day was

The final score in the match was 2:1 against a tough Plymouth side.  David Woodfield’s headed lob put us 1 up in the 65th, and Ernie Hunt scored the winner in the 85th.  Piper’s goal for Plymouth two minutes later was just a consolation.  Here’s Ernie’s winner

The squad showed one change from the start of the season with Hughie McIlmoyle departing for Bristol and The Doog arriving in March 1967.

Back row: : David Burnside  David Woodfield Ron Flowers Ernie Hunt Dave Wagstaffe

Middle:     Mike Bailey Alun Evans Phil Parkes John Holsgrove Fred Davies Bobby Thomson Graham Hawkins

Front row: Derek Dougan Les Wilson Peter Knowles Ronnie Allen Terry Wharton Pat Buckley Gerry Taylor


PLAYER PROFILES - Players expected to join us at the 40th Anniversary Dinner

The Doog

Derek Dougan, WWLSC Life President, joined the Wolves in March 1967, an inspired signing by Ronnie Allen.  The Doog was much travelled, making his debut for Portsmouth in 1957, scoring his first goal against us, before joining Blackburn and appeared against us in the 1960 FA Cup Final which we won.    His first match after signing for £50,000 (away to Plymouth) saw Peter Knowles score the winner but his home debut against Hull City on 25th March saw his first hat trick  (of 5) for the club. (Knocker scored the other goal).  The Doog’s further 6 goals saw the Wolves finish promoted as runners up back to the top flight.  After a distinguished 323 appearances and 123 goals, Derek returned to Molineux as Chairman and Chief Eecutive in 1982.   The Doog was also chairman of the PFA and still supports the cause of players though his XPRO organisation ex-professional footballers linked  here The Doog's support for ex-pro footballers

King John

”King” John Richards, WWLSC President, made his debut for Wolves against the Baggies in February 1970.  It was John’s record that Bully eventually beat - scoring 194 goals in 486 appearances, as well as the fastest ever Wolves goal - in 12 seconds at Turf Moor in 1975.  In 1972-3 he was the country’s top scorer but only won one England cap (against Northern Ireland) which was really surprising given his goal scoring record..  John scored the winning goal in the 1974 League Cup Final against Manchester City and won a further medal in 1980 plus the EUFA cup runners up medal against Spurs in 1972. In 1995 John became a director of the club while working for Wolverhampton leisure services and two years later Sir Jack Hayward invited John to become Managing Director of Wolves.

Hughie McIlmoyle

Hughie played 105 times for Wolves scoring 45 goals before leaving for Ashton Gate just as the Doog joined Wolves but had contributed 13 goals to the promotion campaign before his departure.  Hugh is a special Carlisle hero having played for them three times.   His first goal for us came against Blackburn in January 1965 after joining for £30,000 in October 1964.


David Wagstaffe

”Waggy” was one of Wolves’ fans all time favourites.  A very quick and exciting left winger (“outside left”) who could put pinpoint crosses into the box and help the forwards get their goals during the 60s and 70s.  Dave played 404 matches for the Wolves and scored 32 goals, including some memorable cut ins from the left wing.

Waggy moved to Blackburn in 1976 and retired while at Blackpool three years later.

He returned to Moli to run Waggy’s Bar.


Terry Wharton

Terry Wharton was the right winger with Waggy, and a product of Wolves’ youth policy.  Joining at 15, he made his debut in November 1959 - scoring in a 2-0 win over Ipswich and stayed in the side for 6 years, making 242 appearances and scoring 79 goals including penalties.  The two wingers were key to Wolves promotion to the first division in 1966-7.  In November 1967 Terry transferred to Bolton, then the Palace in 1971 before moving to South Africa.  Terry continued in football non-league management after retiring in 1974


Fred Davies

Fred was the Wolves goalkeeper during the 66-67 promotion season.  He joined in 1957 aged 18 but had to wait 5 years before making his debut - an FA Cup Tie against the Baggies.  The next week he made his league debut against Spurs in front of 46,000.  Fred played over 170 times for the Wolves before joining Cardiff in 1968.  His next club was Bournemouth where he starred in the Cherries promotion season in 1970.   Fred had a distinguished coaching career after retiring leading Shrewsbury to promotion in 1994 (having signed Wayne Clarke).


Frank Munro

Frank has been a regular participant in London Wolves events, unwittingly helping a member into the Millennium Stadium for the play off final!  A tough tackling defender in his day, he has fought ill health since a storke in 1993.

Frank joined Wolves in our first season back in the top flight in 1968 from Aberdeen after scoring against us in a pre-season tour and went on to play 376 times for the Wolves scoring 19 goals, before moving to Celtic in 1977 after a brief loan spell.  Frank was a stalwart of the side which won promotion back to the first division in 1977 and won 9 Scottish International caps while at Molineux.  Frank is pictured with Wolves manager Ronnie Allen.

Mike Bailey

Mike took over the captaincy of Wolves from Ron Flowers.  Both in fact played in the first match I saw at the Moli - a 1-1 draw against the Saints just after Mike arrived on March 4th and Mike’s home league debut. Ernie Hunt was our goalscorer. Mike went on to captain us in the League Cup final victory in 1974.  In the promotion year Mike was voted Midlands Footballer of the year.  He joined us from Charlton  for a £40,000 fee.  Mike played 436 times for us, scoring 25 goals, but preventing hundreds!  The cartoon from the Pink showed how the Mike Bailey “Power Unit” was regarded for those 436 appearances.

Mike’s testimonial was in 1976 against the Baggies just before he left in January 1977.  He went to the USA but returned and managed and coached non-league sides as well as Charlton, Brighton & Hove Albion and Portsmouth

Bobby Thomson

Locally born (Smethwick) Bobby Thomson was a product of the youth system, joining at 15, and played 299 games for the Wolves (+1 sub) and was reknowned as a very fast left back.  He made his debut in a 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at home to West Brom in front of 46,411 fans at Molineux. He soon established himself as a first-team regular and developed into a international layer, gaining eight full caps for England before he was 22. He also appeared for the England Under-23s and the Football League, and he helped Wolves win promotion to the 1st Division in 1966-67. But in March 1969  he joined Birmingham City for £40,000. After making 68 league appearances for the Blues, where he also had a spell on loan with Walsall, he joined Luton Town before ending his league career with Port Vale. He then dropped into non-league football as a player-manager of Stafford Rangers before leaving to run a sports shop in Sedgley.


John Holsgrove

John Holsgrove joined the Wolves in 1965 from Crystal Palace for £18,000 (on Ronnie Allen’s recommendation - Ronnie was to come to Wolves the following year himself).  He quickly established himself but suffered injury for the start of the 66-67 season.  By January he was back and played 97 consecutive matches a total of 202 altogether and scored 7 goals before transferring to Sheffield Wednesday in 1969 after  John McAlle’s arrival.

Here’s a match report from the Pompey site about one of his goals


POMPEY conceded eight goals for the first time since pre-war days before 17,199 in a second-division match at Molineux.  Bobby Woodruff headed past John Milkins after two minutes and Dave Wagstaffe made it 2-0 five minutes later.  A lob from Hugh McIlmoyle sailed over everybody into the net and Wolves went 4-0 ahead on 21 minutes when Ron Flowers scored with a terrific drive.

Woodruff's harmless shot spun out of Milkins' hands and over the line and John Holsgrove gave Wolves a 6-0 half-time lead, leaving the Pompey players a touch dejected going into the dressing room.  It got little better after the break, either, as Holsgrove met Wharton's corner for goal number seven before Pompey pulled one back through a Les Wilson own goal. Ray Hiron grabbed Pompey's second on 75 minutes but McIlmoyle completed Wolves' goal-fest with a header in the last minute.

Graham Hawkins

Graham was another local lad who joined as an apprentice in 1961 and turned pro in 1963.  He made his full debut against the Baggies in October 1964.  A central defender, with strong competition, Graham couldn’t command a first team regular place and transferred to Preston North End in 1967 and then went to Blackburn for 4 years where he was a major contributor to their promotion, before becoming Port Vale’s player manager.  He had a spell as assistant manager at Shrewsbury before being brought back by the Doog (then CEO) to the Molineux as Wolves manager on 1st August 1982, and took Wolves backinto the 1st Division (for the last time until the 2003 Millennium playoff final... 19 years 322 days later).  His star strikers were Andy Gray, Mel Eves and Wayne Clarke.  Unfortunately we then had our worst season ever in the top flight losing 25 matches, winning only 6, and were relegated.  He moved to the middle east and was about to manage Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded.  Graham made 29+6 appearances for the Wolves and then,as manager, his record was played 88 won 26,drew 27, but lost 35 with 100 goals scored in those 88 matches.  An article and interview with Graham appears here

Gerry Taylor

Gerry was an outstanding full back who could play at centre half as well.  For nearly 8 years this dedicated Wolf spent most of his time in the reserves - clocking up 210 appearances - but played in the promotion winning side of 1967.  It took  until 1972 for him to call the first team place his own, winning the Texaco Cup in 1971 and a UEFA Cup runner’s up medal the following year.  Gerry left Wolves in 1975 for a brief spell at Swindon before joing the Police force. Gerry is pictured in 1967 and 1972

Gerry made 187+5 appearances and scored 1 goal.

Ernie Hunt

Ernie scores the winner againts Plymouth“Ernie” Roger Hunt  scored the goal in my first match at Molineux - a 1-1 draw against Saints in March 1966.  Ernie joined Wolves from Swindon where he’d started 10 years earlier and was due in fact to debut at the Dell but the manager (Andy Beattie) resigned that day so he sat and watched us go down 9-3.  Once he got on the pitch though things improved and he had a terrific record as an inside forward with 35 goals in 82 appearances - an even better rate than today’s Frank Lampard!   Ernie is also famous world wide for the “donkey kick” with Willie Carr when they both played for Coventry (after a short spell at Everton from September 1967 he went to the Sky Blues in March 1968).  Ernie also scored the winner in the London Wolves’ first official match (above).  Ernie also won 3 under-23 England caps.


and the story of “that” free kick is told on Bob’s Footballers Sky Blues page on his  site at

October 3, 1970

There were ten minutes to go and the Sky Blues, who were leading the champions (Everton) 2-1, were awarded a free kick in a central position on the edge of the penalty area. While the four-man defensive wall fidgeted nervously, Carr stood over the ball, pincered it between his heels, and flicked it up. As it fell Hunt, lurking behind him, executed a perfect right-foot dipping volley over the wall and into the top corner of Andy Rankin's goal.

The Everton defence stood open-mouthed; the crowd gasped, then went wild. momentarily unsure whether the stunt contravened the laws,Tommy Dawes, the referee, decided it did not and pointed to the centre spot. The Match of the Day cameras captured it all - and ensured its place in folklore - and the outrageous moment was voted goal of the month and goal of the season.

With his swarthy looks and droopy moustache, Hunt looked like a refugee from Zapata's Army, but for almost five seasons the West Country man with the bandy legs entertained the Coventry fans with his skills and personality, always seeing the funny side of the game. His memory of the moment that guaranteed him recognition to a whole generation of fans is vivid.

"At half-time the manager, Noel Cantwell, wanted to know why we hadn't attempted it in the first half when we got a free kick in a good position," he said. "I told him I wanted to wait until the kick was in the dead centre. When the chance came in the second half I was contemplating slipping it through Willie's legs for Dave Clements to blast it but decided to give the donkey kick a crack and gave the sign - the rest is history."





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