How much he gave
Wolverhampton Wanderers have played at Molineux, Whitmore Reans, since 1889. Their previous home was in the Blakenhall area, and although no signs of the ground remain, a nearby road is called Wanderers Avenue.
The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a local merchant who built his home on the grounds. Northampton Brewery, who later owned the site, rented its use to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1889, who had previously lacked a permanent home. After renovating the site, the first ever league game was staged on 7 September 1889 in a 2-0 victory over Notts County before a crowd of 4,000.
In 1953, the stadium became one of the first to install floodlights, at a cost of around £10,000. The first ever floodlit game was held on 30 September 1953, as Wolves won 3-1 against South Africa. The addition of the floodlights opened the door for Molineux to host a series of midweek friendlies against teams from across the globe. In the days prior to the formation of the European Cup and international club competitions, these games were highly prestigious and gained huge crowds and interest, the BBC often televising such events.
The old South Bank at Molineux is also historically the second largest of all Kop ends closely followed by Aston Villa's Holte End, both of which regularly held crowds in excess of 30,000.
When Wolves were at their height of success during the 1950s (three league championships and two F.A Cups) Molineux regularly held over 50,000 mostly standing spectators. By the time of their sharp decline during the 1980s, only the newly built 9,500-seat John Ireland Stand (now the Steve Bull Stand) and the much reduced South Bank (15,500) were in use. This reduction in capacity was due to the fact that the other two stands were wood-built and declared unsafe following the Bradford City disaster, in which a wood-built stand caught fire and killed 56 people in 1985. In the days before the Taylor Report, which required British football stadia to provide seating for all those attending, the ground had a capacity of over 60,000; the record attendance for a match at the ground is 61,315 for a game against Liverpool in the First Division on 11 February 1939.
The total seated capacity today is approximately 28,525, making Molineux the twenty-sixth largest in English football, although this was expanded in 2003 by the building of a temporary stand, known as the Graham Hughes Stand, providing capacity for another 900 fans. These temporary seats were removed during the 2006 close season.
Between 1991 and 1993, Molineux was comprehensively redeveloped. The Waterloo Road stand was replaced by the all-seat Billy Wright Stand, the North Bank terrace was replaced by the Stan Cullis Stand, and the South Bank terrace was replaced by the Jack Harris Stand. By the 1993-94 season the Molineux had a 28,525 all-seated capacity and was one of the largest stadiums in England. But by the time of the 2003 promotion, Molineux was the fifth smallest Premiership stadium. In the previous decade, many of the smaller stadiums had either been expanded or replaced to hold a capacity of between 30,000 and 67,000 seated spectators. For the 2003/04 to 2005/06 seasons, the corner between the Billy Wright and Jack Harris Stands was filled in with temporary seating to create a further 900 seats (called the Graham Hughes by most of the fans and now the club), bringing the ground's capacity to 29,400. For the 2006/07 season the temporary seating was removed.
Millionaire owner Steve Morgan is keen to 'transform the city centre ground into a venue fit for Premiership football' although the scale and speed of the expansion plans will depend on Wolves being promoted to, and stabilising in, the Premier League. Accordingly, the Steve Bull and Billy Wright Stands would be modified, linking all four stands and expanding both side stands to create a 40-45,000+ capacity, making Molineux one of the top ten stadia in England by capacity.
The Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground, opened in 2005, is a £4.6m, state-of-the-art site located in Compton, Wolverhampton. It stands approximately one mile to the west of the stadium.
The two storey building has five high-quality training pitches, eleven changing rooms, medical and physiotherapy facilities, gymnasium, and a hydrotherapy pool, one of only a handful of English clubs to own one.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have an international support base, with supporters' clubs in Australia, United States, Sweden, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Malta, Iceland and Norway amongst others. They also have supporters' clubs across the United Kingdom.
The Wolves fanzine is called A Load Of Bull (ALOB), in part reference to former legend Steve Bull. The publication was founded in 1989 and is written voluntarily by ordinary Wolves supporters. ALOB is currently edited by long serving editor Charles Ross.
As with all large city teams the club attracted a number of hooligans in the 1960s. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group of teenagers calling themselves "The Subway Army" would ambush fans in the subway adjacent to the ground. They attended only selected games and many of the members claimed that they were not actually Wolves fans. Indeed, on visits to several away fixtures, including Leeds, they stood apart from the travelling Wolves supporters, and the vast majority of Wolves supporters have never had any involvement with hooliganism.
The Subway Army were eventually dissolved due to the large number of arrests and were replaced by other groups. Many of this faction were arrested in one of the nationally organised police dawn raids, under code name 'Operation Growth' or Get Rid of Wolverhampton's Troublesome Hooligans.