Monday 7th August 1972 – Wolves V Glasgow Rangers Pre-Season Friendly 1972/1973
Wolves had of course played Glasgow Rangers in the inaugural Cup Winners Cup. Wolves had beaten Austria Vienna in the Qualifying Round in October/November 1961 and then faced Glasgow Rangers in the Semi Final in March/April 1961.
The first leg at Ibrox on 29th March 1961 ended in a 2.0 win to Rangers. The return leg of course goes down in both Wolves and Rangers folklore. The night of 19th April 1961 was when the Rangers Came to Wolverhampton Town. The thousands of Rangers fans present that night, some of them on the way back from the England V Scotland game at Wembley a couple of days before witnessed a 1.1 draw in which Peter Broadbent scored for Wolves. Rangers of course progressed 3.1 on aggregate. The game goes down in folklore in Rangers history they even have a famous song about this game that they still sing now.
Here is a link to the song on YouTube.
Wolverhampton Town – YouTube
Rangers returned to Wolves in 1972 for a pre-season friendly. The Rangers again travelled well to this fixture we believe and there were some reports of some trouble. There was of course not as many Rangers fans in 72 as in 61.
In 1972 Wolves exacted a small bit of revenge for 1961. Wolves won 2.0 on the Monday evening. Jim McCalliog was the scorer of both goals in the game. The second one of his two goals was a second half penalty. On the same evening of this game Rangers Old Firm Rivals were also in action at Parkhead where the next visitors to Molineux were in action too, Tottenham. Celtic won that contest 1.0. Wolves then faced Tottenham in their first home game of the season in 1972/1973 and we won 3.2. This was after two losses away at Newcastle and Arsenal. Wolves in the end had a very good season. We finished 5th and we also got to the Semi Final of both the League Cup and the FA Cup. We qualified for the UEFA Cup. This was due to Tottenham winning the League Cup. Arsenal who finished Second place could not take their place in the UEFA Cup. This was due to the UEFA ruling of only one club from each City being allowed entry into the UEFA Cup. The League Cup Winners spot took president over the 2nd place. This meant that Arsenals place in the UEFA Cup dropped to the next team in the League that had not qualified for Europe. This was the Wolves in 5th. If Norwich had won the League Cup we would have not been in Europe. In the League Cup we lost over two legs to Tottenham. In the FA Cup we of course narrowly lost at Maine Road to Leeds when we were in all honesty judging by the footage the better team. The week before this Rangers game we also made our only ever appearance in the Watney Cup. This saw Wolves lose 2.0 at Eastville against Bristol Rovers.
Rangers performed poorly at Molineux on this evening according to reports North of the Border. They had had a disappointing league season in 1971/1972 as they finished 3rd in the League. They had however won the Cup Winners Cup by beating Dynamo Moscow 3.2 in the final at the Nou Kamp in May 1972. Rangers of course in this period were still in mourning due to terrible events on 2nd January 1971 when 66 people were crushed to death when Supporters were leaving Ibrox after the Old Firm Derby.
Wolves have not faced Glasgow Rangers since 1972. We have of course however faced Celtic. Wolves travelled to Celtic Park on Wednesday 27th July 2011 when Mick McCarthy’s Wolves travelled for the Pre-Season Friendly. Wolves returning a 2.0 victory that evening courtesy of Jamie O Hara and an own goal from Filipe Twardzik. Fans who travelled to this game will remember that the day of the match was not confirmed until a few days before due to the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Draw. This meant most Wolves fans had to travel and stay for both Tuesday and Wednesday evening. I was one of them and there were a few pints on Tenants Pilsner polished off for many. It was possible that Rangers would be at home on either Tuesday 26th or Wednesday 27th. This was the case as Rangers were drawn to play Malmo on the Tuesday so the Wolves game had to be played on the Wednesday. Out of interest Rangers lost 1.0 to Malmo at Ibrox the night before. There were some Wolves fans in the crowd at Ibrox that evening too.
If anyone has the Wolves line up for this Rangers game in 1972 and attendance, I would like to know it. I cannot find it anywhere.