Wolves v Leicester 1968

Programme of the Week – Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City August 1968

The latest in a series about football programmes from my collection that relate to a game being played in the next few days.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City 2019 / 2020

We’re back from our winter break and Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City is the first of this weekend’s Premier League games. Each team can be very satisfied with their season to date. Under Brendan Rodgers, Leicester City are fighting for 2nd spot in the league with Manchester City. Each has played 25 games and have 49 and 51 points respectively. Neither will win the league as they are way behind runaway leaders Liverpool. However, each should secure Champions League games next season with Leicester City (in third) already 8 points clear of Chelsea in 4th.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are 9th, with 35 points, but have a game in hand on Sheffield United who are 5th on 39. Wolves will be fancying a second season of automatic qualification for the Europa League and possibly have an outside chance of 4th spot. However, they may also qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, where they face Spanish side Espanyol in the round of 16.

It will be a full house at Molineux, under the lights, at 8.00pm on Friday night.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City 28th August 1968

In August 1986, the sides also met in an evening game – their sixth match of the season. Leicester start the season with 3 defeats, one draw and a home win over Manchester City. They come to Molineux sitting 3rd bottom of the league with 3 points (still at 2 points for a win!)

Wolverhampton Wanderers also start the season with 3 defeats, one draw and a win. They defeat Queens Park Rangers in the third game of the season 3-1 at home. Wolves are 5th bottom with three points, but a fractionally better goal difference.

Early league leaders are Leeds United and Arsenal. Leeds United have 8 points from 4 wins. Arsenal have 8 points from 3 wins and 2 draws.

It’s Wednesday night and kick off is 7.30pm

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City 28th August 1968 – Match Programme

Match programmes are changing. This season Wolverhampton Wanderers have gone to a 7” x 9.5” size which costs a shilling.

The programme is branded Molinews and the name incorporates the new Wolves logo in the ‘O’. The programme is Volume One Number Three.

On the cover is an action shot of full back Derek Parkin. Derek would go on to become (and remain) Wolves all time record appearance maker. He appeared 609 times for the club.

The Teams

The expected line-ups are also on the front cover. We will identify our Main Men below; but there are plenty to choose from. In the home side, there is a mix of old and new. The majestic Bobby Thomson is listed at left back, though on the day he misses out to utility man Les Wilson. This would be Thomson’s last season with the club. Up front Wolves pair Frank Wignall and Derek Dougan. Dave Wagstaffe would provide a string of left wing crosses to feed them!

Wolves sub that day was Alun Evans. He later became the first £100,000 teenager when transferred to Liverpool.

But there are some great names in the Leicester City side as well. A young lad called Peter Shilton is in goal. Scotsman John Sjoberg is now 10 years into a 15-year stint at Filbert Street. Another 300 game plus Foxes player is winger Mike Stringfellow. When he joined Leicester City from Mansfield in 1962, his £25,000 fee was also the record for a teenager! Listed at inside left for Leicester City is David Nish. Alongside his 5 England caps, he would make over 400 appearances for City and Derby County.

Inside pages

The inside cover is an advert for Wolves Pool. Mrs D Gill won £537.00 last week! Page three has notes from Manager Ronnie Allen. He praises Molineux’s North Bank Choir for their support against Arsenal in the last home game. He also castigates Arsenal for their negative tactics in the 0-0 draw.

Pages 4 & 5 feature a profile of Derek Dougan and gossip about other first team players.

Pages 6,7,8 & 9 are all given over to the opponents. A big team photo; a feature on Manager Matt Gillies and pen pictures of the players. On pages 10 & 11 are articles by the Morgans. Doug Morgan updates the Wolves Social Scene and Phil Morgan Looks back at matches between the two sides over the years.

The centre pages feature a poster sized photo of Peter Knowles.

On Page 14, alongside a form to subscribe to Molinews, is Molinews Discotheque! A reviewer comments on the latest records, including the Beatles Hey Jude and Revolution. Other notable mentions go to O.C. Smith; Count Basie and The Monkees.

Towards the back

Wolves Coach Gerry Summers writes a training feature on page 15. There are (mercifully) very few adverts in the programme but Ansells Brewery makes an appearance on page 16 alongside the letters.

Photos of Phil Parkes; Mike Bailey and Dave Woodfield adorn page 17.

The next game is away at Elland Road. Pages 18 & 19 give detailed instructions about driving there. No M62 or M621 in those days! Nightmare!

An action photo of John Holsgrove is on page 20 and Press Comments about Wolves last two games are on page 21. The final two inside pages cover fixtures and results for the first team, and the reserves. Two of my favourite ‘Scottish Wolves’ are in the reserves side – Evan Williams and Frank Munro.

The back cover carries the half time scoreboard and an advert for tyres.

Reading it again, this is a great programme. Stuffed full of content for both sets of supporters and very light on external advertising.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City 28th August 1968 – The Main Men

For Wolverhampton Wanderers, I have to highlight Peter Knowles. It’s easy to eulogise about players whose careers finished early. Duncan Edwards; John White; Alick Jeffrey and others. Easy to look back with rose tinted spectacles and believe that they were Pele; Maradona and Messi all rolled into one. Of course, they weren’t. But Peter was special. Gifted, flamboyant with a touch of arrogance and developing into one of the best inside forwards in England. He’d made his first team debut in the 1963/64 season under Stan Cullis and in the previous season to this (67/68) he scored 12 goals in 35 starts.

Now, he would play 44 games in all competitions for Wolves and score 9 goals. Eight games into the following season 1969-1970, he left Wolverhampton Wanderers following a 3-3 home draw with Nottingham Forest. For the following years, up until today, he has devoted himself to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The story is immortalised in the Billy Bragg song ‘God’s Footballer’.

Leicester City’s Allan Clarke

Mind you, talking of ones that got away, how did Willenhall born Clarke not end up at the Wolves? One of five footballing brothers, his younger siblings Derek and Wayne both wore the old gold and black.

Born just down the road in Short Heath, Willenhall, Allan Clarke made his debut for Walsall at the age of 16. Three years later he moved to Fulham for two seasons before Leicester City paid a British Record £125,000 transfer fee to take him to Filbert Street.

This season was to be his only one with Leicester City. In the close season, Don Revie broke the transfer record again, paying £165,000 to take Allan Clarke to Leeds United. He won domestic and European honours with Leeds United as well as 19 caps for England.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City 28th August 1968 – The Outcome

In front of 33,474, Wolves edged it 1-0 with a goal from Derek Dougan. It was to be an up and down season for Leicester City. They finished the season in 21st place and were relegated with Queens Park Rangers. However, they had the consolation of a trip to Wembley to play Manchester City in the FA Cup Final. Manchester won the final 1-0 with a superb volley from Neil Young.

Wolves ended the season 16th on 35 points. But Ronnie Allen was sacked mid-season and Bill McGarry brought in from Ipswich Town to build on Allen’s legacy.

I’d like to say good luck to both sides for Friday night, but I’m sure Leicester Supporters will understand my bias! Oh and it will still seem strange seeing Leicester City coach and former Wolves favourite Mike Stowell in the opposing dugout!

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