Wolves 1988- 1989 Manders home shirt Scoreline

1988-1989 home shirt by Scoreline

You’ve got to love a shirt we wore when we were champions haven’t you? Which may be why this shirt has soared in price and become very collectable. You may also get a sense of deja vu reading about the first Wolves shirt that Scoreline created. What better way to spice it up however than looking at an actual match-issued version as worn by Floyd Streete? as provided by Peter Waller.

Spoiler alert: it is to all intents and purposes the same as the 1989-1990 shirt (click to see that blog) except the manufacturer logo is in a different place.

Seasons: 1988-1989
Finished: Football League Third Division, 1st (champions)

Style: 7/10
Popularity: 8/10
Quality: 8/10
Collectability: 9/10 (getting more popular)

Estimated price: Replica: circa £350+.

Thanks to: Peter Waller

1988-1989 home shirt - front
1988-1989 home shirt – front

Wolves had just surged up through from the fourth to the second divisions and this was the shirt we were wearing when we were about to, hopefully, take that next step to the promised land of Division One (soon to be the Premier League). We didn’t quite make it.

1988-1989 home shirt - rear
1988-1989 home shirt – rear

As teased… well, explicitly stated in the intro, this is a match-issued shirt that was worn by Floyd Streete who made 159 appearances for Wolves in the 80s before moving to the Cayman Islands to open a gymnasium and teach football, which sounds like a great next step to me. You can see the machine-stitched number…

1988-1989 home shirt - number
1988-1989 home shirt – number

…and up close here a fan-favourite version of the Wolves badge enclosed in a bi-tone shield rather than a hexagon as we see nowadays:

1988-1989 home shirt - badge
1988-1989 home shirt – badge

Match-spec shirts quite often feature high-spec embroidered badges as opposed to printed and glued on printed felt versions. The wolf head within shield does remain a favourite of many who grew up in the 80s and 90s (as evidenced on polls on fan forums and sites such as Molineux Mix.

Interestingly, if you look closely they changed the badge the following season:

1988-1989 home shirt - badge comparison versus 89-90 on left
1988-1989 home shirt – badge comparison versus newer 89-90 (left)

…the one the following season had tweaked colours and was more vibrant to stand out from the shirt as you can see from this close up.

This particular shirt resonates particularly for Peter as it was:

“…the shirt I first got to see Wolves playing in on TV. I am from Northampton, which gets Anglia TV, so I had to make do with newspaper and magazine articles from the season in the Fourth Division, which was when I first started following Wolves as a kid. My dad then extended our TV aerial for me as a present and so we could get Central TV and all the Wolves highlights, finally.”

Peter Waller, 27/01/2021

Ah… Central TV! And what a great thing Peter’s dad did for him. Reminds me of when I lived in Gloucester and had to drive to one particular area North of the city so I could hear Wolves radio commentary. On Central TV…

Anyone else miss Wolves on normal TV – Central Sports Special?

The more prominent badge was probably to make the badge to stand out more for the TV cameras and in those days we often featured on the Central Sports Specials shown on Sundays. Imagine being able to watch your football team on terrestrial television rather than needing a Sky TV or Virgin subscription! Those of a younger disposition may need to look at this to know what I’m blathering on about – Central Sports Special with Bob Hall in association with Stones Bitter. Even then we were quite often a footnote due to our lower league status and it would be a challenge to see our team actually wearing our shirts (if we hadn’t been able to get to the match). We really are very lucky nowadays.

Back on topic (finally) also note how the shadow striping is identical between the 88-89 and 90-90 – they really did make minimal changes to the shirt for the following season: A better badge, change two Scoreline logos on the shoulders to one on the upper chest and away you go – hand over your £25 (as it was from memory).

1988-1989 home shirt – label

Finally, a comparison shot of the 1988-89 and 1989-90 shirts

Comparison – 88 versus 89

1988-1989 home shirt – comparison versus 89-90 on left

1988-89 was a great year to support Wolverhampton Wanderers. We had just flown up the divisions and a certain number 9 going by the name of Steve Bull was putting some pride back into this wonderful football club. We weren’t to see Wolves dominate a division in that way for a few decades, back in the same division under a certain Kenny Jackett… but that is another blog for another day.

Author: NickW

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