Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club has a rich and varied history in the English game. Wolves, as they are more commonly known, were founded in 1877 as St Luke’s. The Midlands club hold the unique record of being the only English club to win the title in five Football League divisions.
Those titles have been powered by the goals of some super strikers who knew exactly where the goal was in a gold shirt. Here are the club’s top-ten all-time record goalscorers:
Steve Bull (306 goals in 561 appearances)
‘Bully’ arrived at Wolves along with Andy Thompson from Midlands rivals West Brom for a fee of £65,000. The forward established himself as a true club legend with his new club. For almost 13 years, Bull was a goalscoring machine for Wolves in various divisions, helping his team to win the Fourth Division title in season 1987–88 before repeating the feat in the Third Division the following season.
Bull only failed to score double figures in two of his 13 seasons with the Midlands club, which were his last two seasons when his career was winding down. As well as playing for Wolves, the forward also represented England 13 times at international level, scoring four goals.
The forward scored a club-record 18 hattricks during his Wolves career. His goals earned him hero status at Molineux, where he now has a stand named after him.
John Richards (194 goals in 487 appearances)
The Warrington-born forward came through the ranks at Wolves and became a club icon, featuring for the club between 1969 and 1983. Richards was part of the successful team of the 1970s.
During his 14-year career with Wolves, he won the League Cup twice, in 1973 and 1980. In 1972, he also helped the men from the Midlands to the UEFA Cup final, only for his team to be beaten in a two-legged affair against compatriots Tottenham.
Richards’ most prolific season came in 1974 when he scored 36 goals in all competitions. He was also Wolves’ top goalscorer for six of the following seven seasons. Despite losing his status as Wolves’ record all-time goalscorer to Bull, the forward still holds the record for most FA Cup goals scored, having scored 24 goals in the competition.
Billy Hartill (170 goals in 234 appearances)
The forward joined his boyhood club in 1928 on a semi-professional basis and played for the Midlands outfit until 1935, when he moved to Merseyside to play for Everton and then their arch-rivals Liverpool.
Hartill finished as the club’s top goalscorer in his first campaign as a professional football, scoring 33 goals in 36 appearances. He continued to be prolific for Wolves, as he finished as the club’s top marksman for the next three seasons.
In all, Hartill finished the club’s top goalscorer in five seasons. His goals fired Wolves to the promotion to the First Division in season 1931–32.
Although Bull and Richards have beaten his records, respectively, the forward still holds the distinction of being the only Wolves player ever to score five goals in two single games. He also scored a respectable 16 hattricks during his time at Molineux, a tally bettered only by Bull.
Johnny Hancocks (167 goals in 378 appearances)
Hancocks was part of the legendary Wolves team of the 1950s, who played for the Midlands club from 1946 until 1957. Wolves paid Walsall £4,000 to sign the forward when football resumed after the Second World War in 1946.
Hancocks was part of the Wolves team that won the 1953/54 English First Division title while also being part of the club’s team that won the FA Cup in 1949 in a 3-1 final victory over Midlands rivals Leicester.
Hancocks continued to be prolific in his Wolves career, as he was the top goalscorer in seasons 1954–55 and 1955–56. He fell out with boss Stan Cullis in 1956 and was demoted to the reserves before moving to Wellington Town as player/manager in 1957.
The outside right still holds the record for top-flight goals at Wolves, a record that stands at 158.
Jimmy Murray (166 goals in 299 appearances)
Murray was a homegrown player who spent from 1955 to 1963 scoring goals for his boyhood club. In season 1957/58, the forward was part of the Wolves team that won the English First Division title.
Further glory followed two years later, as Murray and his team won the FA Cup, beating Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the final at Wembley. Murray left the club in 1963, joining Manchester City for a fee of around £27,000. He had been Wolves’ top goalscorer in three of his seasons with the club.
Peter Broadbent (145 goals in 497 appearances)
The inside forward was reportedly the hero of Manchester United great George Best when the mercurial star was growing up in Northern Ireland. Broadbent joined the club from the Midlands in 1951 from Brentford for a fee of £10,000.
The money was well spent, as Broadbent became an integral part of the Wolves team that won the English top flight in seasons 1953–54, 1957–58 and 1958–59. His goals also helped his team win the FA Cup in 1960, as they saw off Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the final.
Broadbent won seven caps for England at the international level, scoring twice from 1958 to 1960.
Harry Wood (126 goals in 289 appearances)
The inside forward from Walsall joined Wolves in 1885 from Walsall Swifts and had two spells at Wolves. He was part of making history in the 1893 FA Cup final, as his team beat Everton 1-0 to record their first-ever FA Cup triumph. He was also a beaten finalist in the same competition in 1889 and 1896.
Wood twice finished as Wolves’ top goalscorer on two occasions. He also holds the distinction of becoming the first Wolves player ever to score a hattrick, as he netted a treble in a 4-1 win over Derby County on 3rd November 1888.
Dennis Westcott (124 goals in 144 appearances)
The Merseyside-born forward joined Wolves from New Brighton in 1935 and went on to become a true Wolves legend before his exit in 1948. Although he never won major silverware with the club, he helped his team to finish as runners-up in both the First Division and the FA Cup in season 1938/39 campaign, having scored an impressive 43 goals in all competitions.
Although down this list, Westcott’s 38 goals in season 1946/47 remains a record for league goals scored by a Wolves player in a single season.
Derek Dougan (123 goals in 323 appearances)
The Northern Irish forward joined Wolves in 1967 from Midlands rivals Leicester for £50,000. The forward enjoyed nine seasons with Wolves, despite claims that his career was on the wane when he arrived. He forged a strong partnership with John Richards.
His goals helped Wolves to win promotion from the Second Division, as well as making it to the UEFA Cup final with the club, where they suffered a two-legged loss to Tottenham. Dougan did get his hands on silverware in 1974, as his team defeated Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley to win the League Cup.
Roy Swinburne (114 goals in 230 appearances)
The forward spent from 1945 to 1957 with Wolves, having first played for the club’s youth team. He finished as his team’s top goalscorer in the 1950–51 season, scoring 22 goals.
Injuries hampered his performances in the following season. However, he returned to top form in the next season, this time scoring 21 goals and once again being Wolves top goalscorer.
His most vital goals were probably the ones that helped Wolves become First Division champions for the first time in season 1953/54. Swinburne hit a career-best 24 goals that season and scored a brace in the last game of the season, a 2-0 win over Tottenham.
In November 1955, he sustained an injury in an attempt to hurdle some cameramen. However, the knee injury picked up during the incident, forced Swinburne to call time on his career just a few weeks after sustaining the problem.