Saturday 7th January 1978 – Exeter City V Wolves FA Cup 3rd Round 1977/1978
Wolves FA Cup journey of 1978 began at St James’s Park in Exeter. The game itself ended in a draw. The final score was 2.2 and the Wolves goals came from Willie Carr and substitute Maurice Daly. Daly appeared 28 times for the Wolves with a mixture of starts and sub appearances and all were this season. James Kelly also started the game at St James Park.
This was Wolves first ever trip to St James Park. We had only ever faced Exeter City once before which as in the League Cup in November 1973. This was as many fans will remember one of the early 2pm Kick Offs due to the Yom Kipper War and subsequent Oil Crisis.
We have of course played Exeter City since. Our next trip was on 14th January 1986 in our first ever Freight Rover/Associate Members appearance. Wolves drew 1.1 that day with a goal from Dean Edwards against one of his future club. Wolves then travelled to Exeter on May Day Bank Holiday on 4th May 1987. This game was during our amazing run from February 1987 when we qualified for the Play Offs. The two games in that run that cost us automatic promotion were the points dropped at Orient and Southend. This game in May 1987 was also marred sadly with crowd trouble as well along with the Southend away game in that run too. Dean Edwards incidentally played for Exeter that day in May 87, Wolves then returned to Exeter the year after on 13th February 1988, our last trip to date to St James Park.
Back to 1978 the game ended 2.2. This game saw a large amount of crowd disorder. There were also reports of a “very small” group of Wolves supporters dressed in Ku Klux Klan hoods (reports suggest only 4 or 5). This is not a regular occurrence at Wolves at all as I believe we are a very inclusive club for everyone. There was a large contingent of Wolves Supporters that travelled down that day. Wolves won the replay at Molineux 3.1 with Steve Daley, Kenny Hibbitt and King John putting us through to the 4th Round. This saw Wolves travel to Highbury to face Arsenal. This game also saw with some crowd trouble, many of this occurred on the North Bank. There was a large crowd at Highbury that day of 49373 on Saturday 28th January 1978. We had played at Arsenal in the league exactly two weeks before on Saturday 14th January 1978. The crowd in the league game was 34784. The magic of the cup would have increased the gate however reports also suggest that the crowd was swelled due to another reason. The weather that day in London was poor. The Wolves game at Arsenal survived as Highbury had under soil heating. Games at The Den and Stamford Bridge were victim of the weather and it is suggested by reports that many of the Chelsea and Millwall so called boys made their way to Highbury and 4 sets of fans were fighting on the Clock End that day, Of course Wolves had there element too and a lot of trouble had been seen at the Chelsea home game in May 1977 which may have influenced some of the Chelsea boys to make the trip from West to North London to meet up with Wolves once more. This was of course a period of time where trouble on the terraces was really beginning to hit its height and would continue into the 1980s. In fact, it has never gone away totally but it appears these days to be minimal. I would imagine there would have been a lot of the lads in the DM boots at St James Park and Highbury in January 1978.
Wolves of course were knocked out at Highbury at the 4th Round stage losing 2.1 with Hibbitt on the scoresheet (great goal). This game also memorable for a red card given to Bob Hazell for an incident with Graham Rix. Former Wolf Alan Sunderland scored the first Arsenal goal.
The Wolves team however that appeared at St James Park, Exeter in 1978 were Paul Bradshaw, Geoff Palmer, Steve Daley, Bob Hazell, John McAlle, Kenny Hibbitt, Willie Carr, King John Richards, Norman Bell. Sub Maurice Daly replaced James Kelly and of course scored a goal. The attendance was 14377.
Thank you. See you next time for another programme and short story.