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St Luke's Visit Museum


16:40 12th February 2013

First school visit through the doors

The Wolves Museum opened its doors for the first in a series of school visits this week, with, fittingly, the first pupils through the door coming from the school which contributed so much to the formation of the club.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from St Luke's Primary School in Blakenhall were given a tour of the facility in the new Stan Cullis Stand, as well as a history lesson on how their school helped the club come into being.

Back in 1876, two teachers at the school, John Baynton and John Brodie, formed Goldthorn Football Club - which later became Wolverhampton Wanderers - after being given a football by their headmaster, Harry Barcroft.

The two advertised for 'any Gentlemen interested' in playing to contact them, and the team - consisting mainly of members of St Luke's parish - was formed.

Ian Spooner, a teacher at St Luke's, says it is important that their modern-day pupils are kept aware of their school's part in the club's history.

"The school realises the links with the club, and I think it's important for the children to realise to," Mr Spooner said.

"For me personally, as a Wolves fan, it's fantastic to know that I'm working at the place where the club started. Even though we're a relatively small school, it shows that big things can start from humble beginnings.

"For the kids, it's their local history and it's important for them to realise how things around this area started. They have enjoyed it, have got something out of it and are learning at the same time."

The children were shown around the dressing rooms and pitchside at Molineux before being taken on a tour of the museum, where exhibitions chronicle the club's illustrious history.

"This is the first time I've been to the museum and I'm very impressed," Mr Spooner continued. "Some of the stuff from the late 1980s and early 1990s I recognise, and I can recall being at many of those games.

"For the children, it's great to be able to see the international shirts of the likes of Joleon Lescott and Robbie Keane, which really brings it home to them how it is possible to achieve what you want to achieve."

Images and memorabilia from the club's darkest days and greatest triumphs sit alongside interactive exhibitions which help make players and events from the past accessible to a younger generation of fans.

The children from St Luke's - all aged between nine and eleven - took turns taking penalties against Wayne Hennessey, as well as reading up on the likes of Billy Wright, Stan Cullis, John Richards and Steve Bull.

"It's vital that local children get to know about the club's great history," explained Mr Spooner. "This generation haven't seen much success at Wolves - just those three Premier League seasons in recent times.

"I've seen us win things, I've been to Wembley to watch us play and I've grown up with my Dad telling me about the 1950s and 1960s - but these kids don't know about that.

"With today's football as it is, there is so much emphasis on the Premier League, and that's all these kids see. It's important to get them interested in local football - they're the next generation of fans, and if we don't get those young fans coming through, the club's going to be in dire straights."


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