“Champions of the World”
Legendary former player Stan Cullis became manager in 1948 and helped Wolves win their third FA Cup, defeating Leicester City 3-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium the following year. Cullis, together with England captain Billy Wright, led Wolves throughout the 1950s – the most successful period in the club’s history.
Wolves became champions of England for the first time when they won the first division in the 1953/54 season, becoming the only club to have been champions of three division (they won the third division north in 1923/24 and the second division in 1931/32).
Also in the 1953/54 season, Wolves became one of the first clubs in Britain to install floodlights in their stadium.
Wolves played a number of floodlit friendlies against some of the top sides in Europe. The most famous match saw Wolves defeat Honved 3-2, whose team included many of the Hungarian national side who had just beaten England twice.
The result led the national media to proclaim Wolves “Champions of the World”. Others, notably Gabriel Hanot, editor of French magazine l’Equipe, wanted a competition where the best teams in Europe would play each other and Wolves’ floodlit wins were the catalyst for the formation of the European Cup.
Now known as the UEFA Champions League, Wolves were one of the first British clubs to take part in the competition.
Two further league championship titles were won by the club in the 1957/58 and 1958/59 seasons, before another FA Cup – Wolves’ fourth and most recent – was added to the trophy cabinet in 1960, thanks to a 3-0 final victory over Blackburn Rovers.