Saturday 27th August 1983 – Wolves V Liverpool Canon League Division 1 1983/1984
Wolves faced Liverpool at home in the first game of 1983/1984. This was a repeat of the first game in 1981/1982 and also very nearly a repeat of 1979/1980. That season the game was called off to give Wolves another week to get the “New Stand” finished. Wolves won the opening day in 1981/1982 when Mick Matthews scored to give Wolves hope of a good season ahead. A similar thing happened however in 1983/1984 when Wolves drew 1.1 with Liverpool.
Geoff Palmer scored the goal. As this was the first goal of the day it was also the first ever goal of the Canon Football League after they had sponsored the league from this season. In fact, Canon sponsored the league for 3 seasons. This start was without doubt a false dawn. We were relegated at the end of this season, the first of 3 successive relegations. Every time Canon sponsored the league therefore Wolves were relegated.
The cover shows then CEO Derek Dougan meeting the Duke of Kent. Molineux as is detailed was used as his helipad when he visited the Wolverhampton Polytech. If you look at the staff list you can see a few interesting names. Mike Rowland and John Starkey who were directors and also head honchoes at Allied Properties. There is also Hope and Hipkiss who were of course heavily involved in the takeover in 1982. We of course see the manager notes by Graham Hawkins. Hawkins of course would not be at the club come the end of the season. Assistant Jim Barron would take charge at the back end of the season. This was also the 2nd year out of 3 of the Tatung sponsorship.
We also see pictures of the game from 14th May 1982 against Newcastle where Wolves celebrated promotion the year before. We also see a funny set of pics of one of footballs all time characters, John Burridge who warmed up in that game dressed as Superman. There is an also a picture of Burridge in the crowd at Geoff Palmers testimonial. We also see pictures of the Wolves players in Majorca. This was their celebratory trip for winning promotion. We also believe Leicester City were also out there in an end of season trip. We had finished 2nd and Leicester 3rd the season before. It was this trip where we believe Hawkins had persuaded Gary Lineker to sign for Wolves after he had played well against us on a couple of occasions. There was a long list of players that Hawkins identified. Lineker headed this list but it also included Paul Bracewell and others. Wolves of course ended up signing Tony Towner from Rotherham this summer as money for the other deals did not materialise. It is suggested Dougan signed Towner and not Hawkins. Cracks were appearing by now across the board.
This season was disappointing but it was a sign of things to come. We did however have the big highlights being the win at West Brom on 26th November 1983 when Danny Crainie scored a brace. There was also the win in the corresponding fixture to this one when Steve Mardenbrough scored the only goal of the game in the 1.0 win at Anfield on 14th January 1984. Other than this and the two wins at home over Christmas against Everton and Norwich the season was very hard for Wolves fans. Things can only get better they say. Not for Wolves in this period.
The Wolves team that faced Liverpool on this day were John Burridge, John Humphrey, Geoff Palmer, Gordon Smith, John Pender, Alan Dodd, Peter Daniel, Dale Rudge, Mel Eves, Andy Gray, Billy Kellock. Tony Towner made his first ever Wolves appearance from the bench replacing Dale Rudge. The gate was 26249.