On this day in 2003, Wolves achieved Premier League football for the first time following a famous Play-Off final victory over Sheffield United – a game which features as the latest Big Match Revisited.
The special episode will premiere at 8pm on Tuesday and see Mikey Burrows and Chris Iwelumo reminisce on the full 90 minutes of the 3-0 victory at the Millennium Stadium with the help of six heroes from the day.
Manager Dave Jones and five of his heroic players, Matt Murray, Joleon Lescott, Lee Naylor, Colin Cameron and Kenny Miller, all pop in via video call to talk through the memorable events from Cardiff in 2003.
In a event which is often so cagey, given the high stakes, Wolves flew out of the traps and led the Blades by three at the break thanks to goals from Mark Kennedy, Nathan Blake and Miller.
Then, after the interval, Murray’s crucial penalty save extinguished any hopes of a fightback from the Yorkshiremen and saw Wolves over the line a year after suffering disappointment in the Play-Off semi-finals.
Jones, speaking on Big Match Revisited, recalls: “I’ve said many times, I don’t care who we would have played that day, the first 45 minutes we could have played anyone, the lads were really up for it and determined to get what they missed out on the year before.
“Our job was just to keep them focused and that was the easy part. Nobody was waving to the crowd, it was just sheer determination. You don’t get it many times, but at half-time I had a glow in my belly because, I think, if they’d have scored the penalty, we’d have just gone up the other end and scored another.
“We were always confident about beating Sheffield United that year and I think it was the perfect stage for the players to perform and they did. I’ve got nothing but respect for all of them.”
Miller’s goal on the stroke of half-time put Wolves in an unassailable lead, but he spoke of the importance of Murray’s save. The Scot said: “We won the game 3-0, obviously big Matty had to produce the penalty save in the second-half to keep it that way, otherwise it could have been nervy. We got through it and it was what we deserved over the course of the season.
“When you look at the team, it’s a very, very good team. Sheff Utd had a really good season, but we were a bit different from the year before, when we were on a bit of a low going into the Play-Offs, we were on a high that year and believed it was the year.”
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