On This Day – 15th March

Wolverhampton Wanderers won the League Cup against reigning European Cup holders Nottingham Forest on this day in 1980.

Andy Gray scored the only goal of the game after minutes following a mix-up between Forest defender and goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The two collided on the edge of the Forest penalty area when neither knew what the other was doing with a through ball from Peter Daniel, giving Gray the opportunity to tap the ball into the empty net.

This League Cup victory would be the highpoint of a very desperate decade for Wolves. Financial problems hit the club hard as they struggled to pay for a new stand that was built in 1979. The club very nearly went out of business in 1982, but they were saved at the very last minute.

As a result of the off0field problems, Wolves nosedived down to the Fourth Division in three successive seasons. Their fans were suffering as their club’s fortunes took a downward spiral. Most of the beloved Molineux was falling apart around them. Two of the stands were condemned as a result of the Bradford fire in 1985. As a result, only the South Bank and the new stand were fit for use.

The Third Division followed in 1988 and the Second Division title was won the following season. Striker Steve Bull scored an incredible 102 league goals in those two seasons, winning him a place in Bobby Robson’s England World Cup squad.

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