Wednesday, April 24, 2013

24 April 1954 - Wolves Hunger No More

On 24 April 1954, Wolverhampton won their first league title, beating Tottenham 2-0 in their final match of the season.

One of England's strongest teams at the mid-point of the twentieth century, Wolves had finished as runners-up three times before, in 1938, 1939, and 1950. They topped the table for most of the 1952-53 season, included as late as mid-April, but faltered at the end and finished third.

For most of the 1953-54 season, they were involved in a two-team battle for the title with West Bromwich Albion. On 24 April, Wolves were ahead of West Brom by two points, with each team having only one game left to play--West Brom at Porstmouth and Wolves hosting Tottenham at Molineux.

Playing before a crowd of 44,000, Wolves took the lead with a goal from center forward Roy Swinbourne (pictured) in the 18th minute. He then added a second in the 68th minute to seal the victory. As it turned out, they would have claimed the title even with a loss, as West Brom lost 3-0 (West Brom did not go empty-handed, however--they won the FA Cup a week later over Preston North End).

Wolves went on to win two more titles in 1958 and 1959, and finished as runners-up again in 1955 and 1960.

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