Saturday 13th April 1985– Wolves V Oxford United Canon League Division 2 1984/1985

It was a wonderful occasion aganst Oxford United at home in 1985. Well, this was because Wolves finally scored a home league goal at Molineux for the first time since 17th November 1984 in our 3.3 draw against Wimbledon. In fact, the only goal that the poor Wolves fans had seen during this period at Molineux was one John Pender goal on 5th January 1985 which was in the FA Cup 3rd Round. We didn’t win this game either as it ended 1.1 and we were then dumped out in the replay when we lost 3.1 at Leeds Road.

1002 minutes had passed by between 17th November 1984 and 13th April 1985 without a Wolves goal at Molineux. Things were also not much better on the road. During this period only 8 goals were scored in the 11 away games. Ian Cartwright, Tony Evans, Alan Ainscow, Paul Butler, Campbell Chapman, Ray Hankin and 2 from Mark Buckland were the scores for Wolves on road. You also have to take into account we scored 2 at Fulham the first game in this run and 2 at Sheffield United. There were 5 away games without a goal and a total of 10 home games.

Also bear in mind Mark Buckland had joined Wolves in February 1984 from AP Leamington. At this point he was a full back but he did have a very good scoring record. His manager at AP Lamington was Graham Allner who of course went onto manage Kidderminster Harriers. Allner picked up Buckland from Cheltenham as a striker. It was Allner who converted him into a full back. In 1984/1985 Buckland played the majority of the first half of the season up front for Wolves which meant he reverted back to his original position. Buckland was a scaffolder interestingly before he joined the pro ranks.

Back to today’s programme it was Campbell Chapman who scored the goal against Oxford who were of course on the march. They had won Division 3 in 1983/1984 when Lichfield born Steve Biggins was there leading goalscoring in all compeitions. Biggins of course played 4 games for Wolves in 1984/1985 on loan from Derby where he had moved in the Summer of 1984. He was on Wolves books at the time of this game but had already played all of his games and would not feature again. Oxford then won Division 2 at the end of this season in 1984/1985. They of course then won the League Cup in 1985/1986. Oxford had John Aldridge firing in the goals. They also had Bobby McDonald who would arrive at Wolves in 1987/1988 on loan briefly.

Despite scoring a goal Wolves lost against Oxford United 2.1. The Wolves team that day were Tim Flowers, John Humphrey, David Heywood, John Pender, Peter Zelem, Ricki Herbert, Alan Ainscow, Campbell Chapman, Ray Hankin, Tony Evans, Mark Buckland. Pee Wee Paul Dougherty was on the bench and he replaced Buckland.

You will see cover star Peter Zelem. There is also a feature with a young Tim Flowers and a feature for recent signing Raymond Hankin. There is also a picture of Jack Dowen receiving a lifetime achievement award for his service to the Club. Dowen had done many jobs for the Wolves. He had played, scouted, trained, had been the kitman, was on the ground staff and also completed odd jobs. Dowen was an all-round Club man. Dowen was very well respected by managers and ex-players. In the late 1950s he was the reserve team manager. Dowen played for us 12 times between 1931 and 1938. He made his debut on Boxing Day in 1934. He played at full back and he was in the team for famous 10.1 win against Leicester City on 15th April 1938. Dowen also played in the War Time Cup winning side of 1942. Dowen was part of Stan Cullis back room team. Another important role was first team coach under Ronnie Allen and Dowen was part of the win in Los Angeles in 1967. Jack Dowen had a very good working relationship with Joe Gardiner for many years. Under McGarry and Chung Dowen was the kitman. Dowen leave as he was part of the furniture at Wolves for 50 years bar a brief spell as a player at West Ham. Dowen was also Wolverhampton born and bred and lived in Fordhouses.

The gate was 10647 there which was a good crowd for this season. Wolves of course suffered a 2nd successive relegation a total contrast to Oxford. Our manager this season was of course the late Tommy Docherty. This was a hugely difficult season for Wolves. This same season we saw Derek Dougan reseing as CEO in January 1985. Club Secretary Peter Redfern also resigned in the February 1985 too. On and of the pitch there was turmoil everywhere.

Before he was relieved of his duties however Tommy Doc did make a decent signing for the club. Playing against us in the final home game of this season in question for Huddersfield was Steve Stoutt. Stoutt was Tommy Docs last signing of note. Stoutt travelled with Wolves to the post season tour of Malta and played some games out there. He of course never played for The Doc in a competitive match. Stoutt of course played his part eventually in the early days of the turnaround. You may remember he scored at Scarborough. This season was also the final season of the North Bank and the Waterloo Road Stand before the tragic events at Bradford which meant both stands had to be condemned.

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