Wolves Programme Post 16 “A Smoggie Promotion Nearly Halted”

Saturday 2nd May 1992 – Wolves V Middlesbrough Barclays Division 2 1991/1992

This game was very nearly called off due a fire in the Waterloo Road Stand the evening before this fixture. Supporters who were there and at the time will remember the fire had taken place up towards the South Bank End and the damage was clearly visible. The Waterloo Road Stand however was very nearly at the end of its time It had of course not been used since 1985 by this point. To add to this there was also a hoax call made to West Midlands Police about explosive being planted under the pitch, During the morning of the game the Bomb Squad and Swat teams were at Molineux checking everything over. This delayed some of the Boro contingent from travelling and many arrived late for the game on the day.

Wolves season was over way before this game as we were in mid table. Middlesbrough knew that if they won this game, they would take their place in the inaugural Premier League. They could be caught by both Derby County and Leicester City in 2nd place. It was irrelevant however what happened elsewhere as Boro did win 2.1 with goals from Bernie Slaven/Jon Gittens and Paul Wilkinson which meant Lennie Lawrence led Boro to the Premier League. Andy Mutch scored for the Wolves. This season was of course the final season of the 4 Divisions of the Football League. The league structure was rebranded the next season as we saw the formation of the Premier League. Joining Boro in the Premier League were Champions Ipswich Town and play off Winners Blackburn Rovers.

In this game Wolves were winning 1.0. Middlesbrough also went down to 10 men as Boros Nicky Mohan was red carded in the 65th minute. This was in the aftermath of a scuffle between Jamie Pollock and Steve Bull. Andy Mutch then scored 1 minute later. Jon Gittens equalised for Boro in the 73rd minute but this goal is sometimes credited to Bernie Slaven. Not many minutes later Jamie Pollock crossed the ball for Paul Wilkinson to head past Mike Stowell. Stowell did get a hand to this but he pushed it onto the post and in.

The cover star of the programme is Mark Venus. This is quite fitting. Venus is from Teesside, Hartlepool to be precise but is a Middlesbrough Supporter. On 10th March 1981 Wolves faced Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Quarter Final replay at Molineux. Wolves won but there was one small Middlesbrough fan in the crowd that night, 13-year-old Mark Venus. The crowd in March 1981 was also 40,524. This is the last attendance at Molineux of above 40 thousand. There is of course a multitude of reasons as to why. Of course, since 1985 we had reduced capacity and of the Molienux has never been able to hold that amount since.

Venus never played for his boyhood club however he was assistant there under Tony Mowbray and managed them on a caretaker basis in 2013. Mark Venus as we know also served Wolves well. Venus joined us in 1988 from Leicester City and left for Ipswich in 1997 in a deal that saw Steve Sedgley come the other way. He also won our player of the year in 1989/1990. In total Venus played 320 times for Wolves and scored 10 goals. He also appeared from the bench on 18 occasions. Venus did start his career at Hartlepool United where he was born.

If we look in the youth section, we see young goalkeeper Andy De Bont who never did appear for the first team. The other young man did however as you will see a very young Jamie “Jinky” Smith. There is also a feature with Paul Jones at this point our number 2 keeper. Jones of course played for us in 2 spells. His most iconic moment in his first is without doubt the Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup tie in 1995. We also see some action shots from the previous home game against Southend. We also see the 3 goals scorers from that day in Paul Birch, Derek Mountfield and The Bull. We can also see a picture of the return of the Molienux Clock. This first appeared again in that Southend game on 20th April 1992. This had been missing from the Molineux since 1979 as it was then on the old Molineux Street Stand. It has of course since been relocated to the South Bank. Between 1979 t0 1992 it was in storage.

In the programme we can also see a report on the early stages of the ground redevelopment. We also see an advert for our new strip for the 1992/1993 season. This of course the infamous Tyre Mark shirt. The model on this occasion is Tom Bennett. This game was the final game of the Bukta shirt after we covered the first in the previous edition.

The side that faced Middlesbrough in front of 19123 was Mike Stowell, Kevin Ashley, Mark Venus, Mark Burke, Lawrie Madden, Derek Mountfield, Paul Birch, Paul Cook, Steve Bull, Andy Mutch, Keith Downing, Robbie Dennison replaced Keith Downing in the game. Mark Burke faced his former club. We had signed him from Middlesbrough in March 1991.

See you next time.

Crumpy.

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