Friday 19th February 1988 – Wolves V Scarborough Barclays Division 4 1987/1988
Today we look at a programme from February 1988. The Wolves programmes from 1985/1986 to the end of the 1987/1988 season were an A5 production. We did not see another A5 production until 2019/2020 our first year back in the big time under Nuno. A5 was used that season for all the home domestic games, not the Europa League as many will remember, they were A4.
The game below was a repeat of the opening day of the 1987/1988 season. We of course are very familiar with the opening day of that season when we travelled to Scarborough. This is a programme we will feature in the future. This game on 15th August 1987 was famous for sadly crowd trouble and the potentially fatal incident with one Wolves fan falling through the roof of the stand. The home game was a lot less eventful in February 1988 and from what is read at the time this would have been the first game of the season if West Midlands Police and Wolves had had had their way back in August 1987. The home game was a 0.0 draw however the point we achieved that day was enough for us to qualify for the Mercantile Football League Centenary Trophy in April 1988. The 15-game qualification period began on 3rd November 1987 when we travelled to Swansea. In the 15 games Wolves picked up 9 victories (Swansea Away, Burnley Home, Colchester Away, Orient Home, Exeter Home, Hereford Home, Crewe away, Scunthorpe Away and Exeter Away). We drew 3 which were Hartlepool Away, Stockport Home and this Scarborough home game. We also lost 3 games which were Wrexham and Cardiff at home and Halifax away. So, 9 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses meant Wolves qualified and were off to Wembley for the first time since March 1980.
The other qualifiers were Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United, Liverpool, Luton Town, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Tranmere Rovers, Wigan Athletic, and Wimbledon. Wolves appeared at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 16th April 1988 in The Football League Centenary Tournament also known as “The Mercantile Credit Football Festival”. This tournament was a weekend of football to celebrate 100 years of the Football League. Roughly 41500 spectators were at Wembley. Around 2000/2500 Wolves fans made the trip and they were located in a section in between the Wimbledon and Tranmere fans, opposite the tunnel end. Wolves of course drew with Everton 1.1 in normal time of a shortened game. Robbie Dennison scored a belter and Wayne Clarke our former striker scored for Everton. Wolves lost on penalties. The winners of the tournament were Nottingham Forest. Brian Clough wasn’t impressed with his tournament he didn’t even show up on the Saturday and left Peter Taylor in charge.
Back to Scarborough at home Wolves drew 0.0 in front of a crowd of 11391. This was a big crowd for the time. Crowds were gradually growing as we were of course on our way to the Division 4 title and the Sherpa Van win at the end of the season. In fact only 3 days after the Mercantile Credit Centenary we qualified for Wembley. On 19th April 1988 we of course faced Notts County at home in Second Leg of the Southern Area Final. This game is remembered also for Wolves Fan Alan Blount and the iconic “Come on Mi Babbies” moment.
The Wolves team against Scarborough were Mark Kendall, Andy Thompson, Bobby McDonald, Floyde Street, Ally Roberston, Phil Robinson, Robbie Dennison, Nigel Vaughan, Steve Bull, Andy Mutch, Keith Downing. Jackie Gallagher came on as a sub for Keith Downing. This was the first game of Bobby McDonalds loan spell from Leeds. He played 7 games in a row before he returned.