LA Wolves documentary gets red carpet premiere

A fascinating documentary detailing how Wolves claimed the first official US soccer title was given the Hollywood treatment in Wolverhampton recently as 1967: When Wolves Conquered the USA premiered to an exclusive audience.

Wolves Studios, the club’s internal production house, has teamed up with leading football media company Footballco and their football magazine MUNDIAL to share the incredible untold story of Wolves’ involvement in kickstarting the popularity of the sport in the United States.

Set to be released to a wider audience in November, the 30-minute documentary was given its first airing on Friday evening at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton city centre, with a private screening in front of 150 special guests, including former players and their families.

One of the most remarkable stories involving Wolves, the documentary focuses on the summer of 1967 and Los Angeles Wolves’ United Soccer Association league title through never-before-seen footage, while transporting viewers back to the scene of a historic moment for the Old Gold.

Following the documentary’s trailer being released earlier this year to mark the 56-year anniversary of the United Soccer Association’s championship final at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the final cut of the film was shown at the exclusive premiere event, which also featured a drinks reception and two Q&A panels.

Firstly, Wolves TV presenter Gemma Frith posed questions to writers and directors James Bird and Owen Blackhurst of MUNDIAL, and executive producers from Wolves, Yannie Makarounas and Russell Jones. Then following the documentary screening, the evening ended with three Wolves players who represented the club in Los Angeles, Phil Parkes, Terry Wharton and Gerry Taylor, sharing their intriguing tales from their time in the US with those in attendance.

Jones, Wolves general manager for marketing and commercial growth, said: “We are always looking to tell these interesting stories to help Wolves unlock new audiences and this one gives us a unique place in US sports history.

“The idea of the documentary came about following an interview Phil Parkes did for Wolves Radio. He talked about being part of a Wolves team that represented LA in 1967, and as Phil started to re-tell his experiences of the trip, it soon became evident how significant this was. Upon further research, we established that this was the very first professional soccer league, and we were eventually crowned champions.  

“That tournament was the origins of what we see in US soccer today, so for Wolverhampton Wanderers to have played such an integral part was incredibly exciting.”

The documentary tells the on and off-pitch story of Wolves’ 1966/67 Division Two winning squad heading across the pond to spend their summer out in America.

While playing in the United Soccer Association as Los Angeles Wolves, the film also reveals how the players – many of whom had never been out of the UK before – got to experience the Hollywood glamour and LA lifestyle of the 1960s as well as jet setting across the states throughout the nine weeks they competed in the inaugural tournament.

Having progressed to the championship final, Wolves faced off against Washington Whips – who were represented by Scottish club Aberdeen – in the LA Coliseum. The match culminated in Wolves claiming the inaugural Presidents Cup following a thrilling 6-5 extra time win.

Jones added: “Telling this story has been a labour of love, and I can’t thank FootballCo, MUNDIAL, the contributors and former players enough.   

“Sadly, some of the former players have passed away, but those we have managed to interview were magic. It became clear very quickly that this wasn’t just about winning a trophy in 1967, it was also an amazing human-interest story.

“They were young lads from Wolverhampton who were suddenly told they were going to fly to the other side of the world to swinging sixties LA and it was an incredible experience for them. When you hear them talk about it, their eyes light up because it just means that much to them even more than 50 years on.

“Nights like we experienced at the premiere are great, not just for the former players, but for the football club as we were able to celebrate this amazing part of our history. We all have a lot of pride in this documentary and cannot wait for our supporters and the wider footballing world to see it.”

1967: When Wolves Conquered the USA is set to be broadcast in November. Further details about how and where to watch to documentary will be shared on and Wolves’ social media channels in due course.