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London Wolves are a member of Worldwide Wolves (see here)
Golden Moments from 50 Years of Supporting the Wolves Tim Spiers E&S 2016 article here
This cutting from the 60’s is a 1967 shot of the WWLSC chairman in full dress with Robert Goddard, Dave Slade Slape, Willie Waldron, Sid Green, Martin Duckett, Dave Bell Chris Stonnell and other WWLSC fans in Molineux’s North Bank. The article At Home? That’s Quite a Trip published 31st Jan 1968 read:
There are plenty of football fans who are keen enough to follow their favourite football team through every match, home or away, throughout the season. But few for whom a home match means a journey over over 100 miles! Every Saturday a group of 35 lads board a train to travel throughout the country to follow the Wolves Founded halfway through last football season, the team’s London Fan Club spare no expense to follow their idols and have been known to spend up to £8 to go to one match. For each home match the group have a specially allocated corner in the North Bank at Molineux, and the picture shows Stuart Earl of Treville St London SW15 surrounded by the rest of the fans at a recent home game. Why do they go to such great expense to to follow Wolves in preference to one of the top London clubs? “Because we think Wolves are the best team in the first division” said Stuart. He added that the club was only going through a bad spell at present, and the fans were confident Wolves would be back on top form very soon.There are plenty of football fans who are keen enough to follow their favourite football team through every match, home or away, throughout the season. But few for whom a home match means a journey over over 100 miles! Every Saturday a group of 35 lads board a train to travel throughout the country to follow the Wolves Founded halfway through last football season, the team’s London Fan Club spare no expense to follow their idols and have been known to spend up to £8 to go to one match. For each home match the group have a specially allocated corner in the North Bank at Molineux, and the picture shows Stuart Earl of Treville St London SW15 surrounded by the rest of the fans at a recent home game. Why do they go to such great expense to to follow Wolves in preference to one of the top London clubs? “Because we think Wolves are the best team in the first division” said Stuart. He added that the club was only going through a bad spell at present, and the fans were confident Wolves would be back on top form very soon.
This picture also features in the Wolves V QPR matchday programme 19th August 2015 pictured here
Here is our first Chairman Bill Curtis (pic Dave Slape)
Our first recorded member match though goes back a bit further when George Vincent went to the 8-3 thrashing of Chelsea in 1946 and the following year the 26th April - WW 6 Chelsea 4 George is pictured here with Life President John Richards
Although Dave Gilson remembers pre-war football
and 50 years on from Secretary Dave Slape’s first trip he was presented with an anniversary cake on the Euston Express
The London Wolves Football team of 1977 (youtube link from Louis Rómulo - click on the picture)
Back row L:R Rob Coleman,Tim Maher, John Engleman, Ray Stock, Colin Cutts, Peter Coath, Terry Peachey, Martin Rutherford, John Saville, Reg Bartley, Ray Harris, Mark Feehan Front row L:R Steve Roe, Tony Roche, Ivan Gillespie, Gerry Hirth, Bob Tyler, Mel Marston
Photo: Mike Woodward of the Daily Mirror.
Remembering Terry Peachey who passed away Friday 27th July 2018 former LW Treasurer & Travel (LWFC GK)7th from left in the back row
About London Wolves:
Founded in 1966, and the longest established Wolves Supporters’ Club, when several members got together on the train to Wolverhampton, we are still helping our over 300 members with reduced rate travel - our first coach was 22nd October 1966 to the home win against Plymouth. We are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of supporting Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club - “THE WOLVES” - in 2016. Details here If you are a Wolves fan based in the South of England (or anywhere else - we have members all over the world!) why not join us?
The teams for that first official LW match a 2-1 win with Ernie Hunt and Dave Woodfield scoring. The sub, Graham Hawkins, a terrace fan, then a player, later became a promotion winning manager.
Benefits of membership include:
- Reduced rate travel to home and away matches
- Access to tickets
- A regular newsletter printed or ecopy
- Good company, especially travelling to home and away matchesLondon Wolves merchandise
- Regular events
- Meet the players evening in London/Wolverhampton index page
- Racing (Horses/Dogs) Outings; Xmas Lunch; River Walks
- See diary page for index
- Dinners 40th 45th 50th WWLSC anniversaries 40th 45th 50th pictures
- and the exciting AGM AGMs
Latest Travel news is on the Travel page Latest Wolves news homepage & Match Reports & pix on the matches pages
For the Honved 1954 story click here
This article congratulating London Wolves on their support of the Wolves appears in the January 8th 2005 Sporting Star (the pink pages) following Wolves’ win over Millwall in the FA Cup. John presents a regular “fan’s eye view” in the Sporting Star - which used to be published at 5:30 on Saturdays and available on-line Sunday morning. Details of how to subscribe to the Digital edition of the E&S follow the article.....
this article is Express & Star Newspapers’ copyright. You can also get the full newspaper every day (or on the evening following matches if you don’t want them all) Monday to Friday from about 5.30pm here: http://www.expressandstar.com Follow the links to Digital Edition for full subscription to see the paper every day.
Wolves featured London Wolves in the matchday programme v QPR on 19th August 2015
Golden Moments from 50 Years of Supporting the Wolves Tim Spiers 2016 article Express & Star
One of their members has missed only one home game in 40 years, they used to run out of the players' tunnel at Molineux to supporters chanting their name, and they've travelled to matches with players, Sir Jack Hayward and a famous pop star.
Welcome to London Wolves.
The club's longest-running supporters' club – and one of the oldest of its kind in the country – is about to turn 50.
They've experienced dizzying highs and endured devastating lows over the past five decades – and that's before you even get started on the football.
It all began, though, in a very different era.
Stuart Earl, who was there from day one and is the club's chairman, takes up the story as we travel from London to Wolverhampton ahead of the Wolves v Norwich game.
"Me and Dave (Slape, current secretary) met on the 9.15 out of Paddington," he said. "We saw each other every week and just thought there had to be a cheaper way of doing it, so we set about organising coach travel and it took off from there.
"It struck me at Wolves away games in London that there were a lot of Wolves fans around the ground.
"We put a couple of adverts in Football Monthly, Soccer Star and wrote to all the London clubs asking if they'd put something in their programme, which Fulham and Arsenal did. We got a few phonecalls and that was that."
Dave added: "I was on the first trip. Two weeks earlier we met Jack Howley, the Wolves secretary, with about 12 people saying we wanted to form a club. The first trip was Plymouth (October 22, 1966, a 2-1 home win)."
Football worked very differently back then. London Wolves would be let in to Molineux matches for free, with chairman John Ireland believing fans who travelled so far to get to games shouldn't have to pay.
They would board a coach from Victoria station (they switched to train travel after a couple of years) and have a corner of the North Bank allocated to them.
Stuart added: "We used to come out of the players' tunnel and the North Bank would chant 'London Wolves' and point at us!
"The commissionaire used to salute us. We'd go outside at quarter to three and all go into the stand together.
"It was quite embarrassing."
The club's numbers soon grew. At their peak, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they had almost 400 members, with the 1981 FA Cup semi final against Spurs at Hillsborough attracted a record booking of 108 fans.
Just a few years later, with Wolves' rapid decline in full flow, things were very different.
Travel secretary Peter Woodifield has been with the club since its formation and still kept attending in the dark days of the 1980s. Yes, he even went to all three Chorley FA Cup games.
"In the Bhatti era you had to be a bit more dedicated!" he said. "The Third Division, when we were still on our way down, it was a real effort to go to those games."
Mark Feehan had joined in 1976, aged 12, after spotting an advert in a Millwall programme.
"You hear people complain today about bad games, but you really had to be a diehard in the 1980s," he said. "You didn't even know if they would put a team out some days.
"We even had the conversations about what we'd do if the worst happened and Wolves no longer existed."
But London Wolves, like the club, survived – and thrived.
Sir Jack Hayward used to travel with them for midweek games (even taking part in Dave's 'guess the score' competition), as did a host of former players.
Dexys Midnight Runners singer Kevin Rowland is a former member, as is BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley.
John Richards is the club's honorary president and the likes of Carl Ikeme, David Edwards and Karl Henry have travelled back to London with them after matches in recent years.
"We have interaction with the players, especially some of the older ones," Mark added.
"You bump into someone like Mel Eves, or John De Wolf, and they'll always chat to us. And some of the current players too – Richard Stearman was still in touch with us the entire time he was at Fulham."
That's not to say that travelling from London to every game hasn't been without its pitfalls.
There have been several mishaps, delays and breakdowns over the years, even as recently as last season when horrendous motorway traffic on the way to Middlesbrough forced the group, who travelled to that particular game by coach, to abandon in Sheffield and watch the match in a pub.
Peter, who sorts out the club's bookings and match tickets, added: "Travelling to Blackpool in 1985 we got as far as Reading. Some of us went to a game in Aldershot or somewhere.
"There was one at Huddersfield in the 1960s when the coach broke down just on the outskirts of Huddersfield and we ended up pushing it up a hill! I'll never forget that. We missed the first 25 minutes of that one.
"After the game we were playing football in the Huddersfield car park and one of their directors invited us into the boardroom. He paid for everyone who couldn't afford it to get the train back home.
"We also played Darlington in the FA Cup (in 1998) and we got all the way up there and the game had been postponed, purely on a bad weather forecast that never materialised. We got a 4-0 win in the rearranged game though."
And then of course there's the story that the majority of Wolves fans seem to have heard of - that of London Wolves member Peter Abbott, who missed his first home game for 37 years due to his stepdaughter's wedding being scheduled on the same day as the clash versus Coventry in 2013.
These days the group have around two dozen or so travelling to most games, with some of the older fans converting their sons and daughters to create the next generation of London Wolves.
Chairman Stuart said that without his dear old friends Dave and Peter Woodifield the club would struggle to keep going.
"It's down to Dave and Peter, the work they do," he said. "They're conscientious and honest as the day is long.
"I don't know what we'd do without them. Nothing is too much trouble. They spend the whole day up and down the train doing raffles, or competitions, or collecting ticket money bookings. People give their time for absolutely nothing to make sure the club keeps going."
The 50th year was marked in style with a golden anniversary dinner at Charlton's ground, The Valley, in July, attended by a host of ex-players and then-boss Kenny Jackett.
A special reception will be held in Molineux's WV1 bar on the day of the Leeds game on October 22, marking 50 years to the day since that first ever trip.
And whether it's an early 12.30pm kick off at home to Derby next month, or a Tuesday night trip to Cardiff in December - games that will involve unspeakably early starts or unfathomably late nights - this likeable, hardy bunch of fiercely loyal supporters will be there, cheering on their boys in gold and black, like they have done for the past five decades.
"I think the reason we all enjoy it so much is the social side of it and the camaraderie," Mark said.
"We have a lot of away fans travelling with us too. Brentford brought a bag of Chinese fortune cookies with them the other week to share out.
"Everyone knows everyone and we're all friends."
Stuart added: "My mother thought I'd grow out of it, but 50 years later I'm still here."
Let's hope that in another 50 years, London Wolves will still be here too. Football – and Wolves – would be a poorer place without them.
Tim’s article drew the following comments
Comments for: "Golden moments from 50 years of supporting Wolves"
bobsterman October 11, 2016 11:33 am
Well done lads keep it up . How are you Stefan haven't seen you in mayo for awhile.
paul October 11, 2016 11:59 am
Always had good support and does anyone remember the flag on the coach which said Wolves Supporters Club" Peking Branch," used to make me chuckle every time i drove past.
chris h October 11, 2016 12:05 pm
Top fans. I have been going 53 years and I can barely remember a time when you were not mindful of London Wolves taking the train up to the wilds of the West Midlands. It seemed to me during the worst part of the Bhatti years, a fair portion of the 3000 or so that kept going, came from outside the immediate Wolverhampton area .
rimmerp October 11, 2016 1:38 pm
best of the best saved me some 40years ago at millwall that tunnel four cockney guys follow us mate they saved my beacon god bless them
maltawolves October 11, 2016 3:12 pm
Great article but 1 mistake,London Wolves are NOT the clubs oldest supporters club.This honour goes to the Malta Wolves supporters club who in fact were founded in April 1960. I believe that the club currently has around 200 supporters Maltese and expats alike who attend matches at the Molineaux usually once or twice a year.
maltawolves October 11, 2016 3:14 pm
Sorry Tim but i think that you will find that the Malta Wolves supporters club founded in April 1960 is infact the clubs oldest supporters club.
Faagen-Bazs October 11, 2016 5:29 pm
Alright, don't bang on about it.
NewYorkWolves October 11, 2016 3:19 pm
Great article Tim. London Wolves have 50 years of stories for the next Steve Gordos book. How about it Steve?
blazindata October 11, 2016 3:30 pm
Excellent article, great supporters and almost makes me wish I still had my season ticket....almost.
Cape Wolf October 11, 2016 5:41 pm
Great story by the E&S for a change. These guys have displayed incredible loyalty down the years. I was a member of London Wolves in the late 70's when living in Hertfordshire and remember Dave Slade, Stuart and Terry Peachy very well. I used to go to the meetings in a club in Soho - don't get smutty - and there were some wonderful end of season dinners at The Oval Cricket Club. I lost touch after I moved to Northants and now Cape Town.
Just wanted to say well done and respect to all the London Boys still making the pilgrimage to The Golden Palace and also the trips to Bolton and Barnsley for a midweek fixture in January!
PS I thought we took more to the Arsenal semi final in '79 than the Spurs game in '81?
Bazwolf October 11, 2016 6:31 pm
These guys are the best. There no better nor loyal WW fans than these London Wolves . Can you imagine the hours these guys get home after away games upNorth on cold Winter evenings. I have the pleasure of knowing many of them. All have agreat story to tell as to how come they are WW fans. Also they have the most wonderful of relationships with many of our old heroes from the 70 and 80s. Take a bow London Wolves - top folks the lot of you
World Wide Wolves
In 2018 Wolves’ Alan Perrins announced a programme for supporters clubs around the world - World Wide Wolves and London Wolves were delighted to be the first club enrolled as World Wide Wolves - London. Alan has opened a special area in the Steve Bull stand for the World Wide Wolves clubs visiting Molineux. For access contact Stuart Earl.
An article in the December 5th 2018 programme (2:1 Premier League win over Chelsea) examined LW and others. The programme also said happy birthday to Joey Feehan.
At the end of the 2021-22 Season Alan Perrins announced that London Wolves had been awarded the Worldwide Wolves UK Supporters’ Club of the Year for the third year in a row.
Many congratulations to Jack who has been promoted Captain with Easyjet. Stef writes (7/7/2019)
As members set off for their summer holidays, those flying to sunny European climes with easyJet should listen to the cockpit announcement you get at the start of the flight. Lo and behold, they may well find themselves in the hands of young Jacko, now officially re-branded Captain Jack! Last week, he was notified than he'd passed the strenuous Civil Aviation Authority & easyJet Command Course with distinction.
If a member out there is flying on one of Jack's planes, he says that they're more than welcome to pass their boarding card to one of the Cabin Crew and he'll come out and meet and greet them
Stan Armett, John Golding and Peter Abbott in Armenia 8th August 2019
Stan with his letter and John’s Stadium pic
WWLSC in matchday progamme, 11/1/2020
pic Wayne Devaney Berlon Wolves
London Wolves celebrate their 55th Anniversary (one year late)
We celebrated our 55th anniversary as our 56th as it was one year late becaused of the pandemic sweeping the world in 2020-21 at The Valley. Full details here. On of the guests was the popluar sports journalists, Johnny Phillips, a regular Sky reporter and Express and Star journalist. He and the Star have kindly given permission to reprint the article on 23rd July 2022 here. Johnny wrote:
“The 55th anniversary of London Wolves (one year late, owing to the pandemic) took place in an executive suite at The Valley and the guests included some fans’ favourites who graced Molineux in years gone by.
The loyal supporters’ club was founded in 1966 when a dozen or so supporters travelling independently on trains from Paddington to Wolverhampton discovered they were bumping into each other regularly.
They got together and decided to form a club, putting out a few flyers at football games until they found enough people to run a coach from the capital to Molineux.
“It was 10 shillings (50pe) to go and if there were a few less it would be 15 shillings,” founding member Dave Slape recalled……” for more of the article please visit the Star at https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/wolverhampton-wanderers-fc/2022/07/23/johnny-phillips-some-56-years-on-london-wolves-still-a-capital-idea/?fbclid=IwAR3QuEWtVyURH9HBkv41fHLeqOFFNodbh2MZOv3Y1cfrwIvawZN4oDZbOKk
The next London Wolves newsletter (pdf/printed) will contain a full reprint