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How Wolves can be all-white in the Cup – here’s the proof

Wolves will be hoping it will be all white on the night at Wembley – and they have some history to prove it.

The Molineux side will wear their traditional change kit for the semi-final against Watford on April 7 after losing the toss of a coin at the FA’s headquarters.

Wolves have never worn anything but gold and black at the national stadium – but they have won in the FA Cup wearing white on at least five occasions, and there is television footage to prove it.

Back in January 1971, they beat Norwich 5-1 at the third round of the competition.

What was unusual was that Wolves wore white at Molineux, rather than the opposition changing kit.

Bill McGarry’s side wore white shirts and black shorts that day, but it didn’t seem to bother an unfamiliar clad home team as they triumphed handsomely against the Second Division outfit with braces from Bobby Gould and Jim McCalliog, including a penalty, and a first goal on his debut in the competition for Kenny Hibbitt.

Fast forward eight years and Wolves changed strip again for their sixth round replay to avoid a clash with the blue and amber of Third Division Shrewsbury Town.

This time John Barnwell’s side won 3-1 with goals from Peter Daniel from the spot – to avenge the one he gave away for fouling Paul Maguire in the first tie, scored by Ian Atkins – Billy Rafferty, who put Wolves ahead at Molineux, and Willie Carr clinched a last-four tie against eventual winners Arsenal at Villa Park after a 1-1 draw in the Molineux mud.

Norwich were on the end of another FA Cup defeat to a white-clad Wolves, this time in January 1980 and at the fourth round stage.

This time George Berry, Mel Eves and John Richards were on target as Barnwell’s side pipped the Canaries 3-2 in a fourth round replay to earn a home tie to…Watford, who won 3-0.

In January 1995, Wolves were paired with Mansfield Town at Field Mill.

The omens didn’t look good for Graham Taylor’s injury-hit side when they trailed 2-0 to the lower division side after just 10 minutes.

O’Neill Donaldson robbed John De Wolf to score before an angled shot from Simon Ireland clipped Robbie Dennison and looped over Paul Jones.

But after a stiff talking to by Taylor at half-time, Wolves hit back.

Mansfield failed to clear a corner and David Kelly slid home Don Goodman’s cross, then Robbie Dennison chipped home a beauty from 25 yards on the hour to equalise prior to setting up Lee Mills for a thumping left-footed winner.

Cup successes were very thin on the ground for Mick McCarthy’s Wolves.

But they did manage an emphatic FA Cup victory at Watford, in January 2008, wearing all white.

This time, Andy Keogh gave them a fifth-minute lead before strikes from Stephen Elliott and Jay Bothroyd either side of the hour put Wolves 3-0 ahead.

John-Joe O’Toole reduced the arrears on 70 but Keogh restored the three-goal cushion to grant the visitors a fifth-round tie at Cardiff, which they lost 2-0.

Wolves have also been all-white in some memorable league games.

Just 24 days after knocking them out of the Cup, Wolves returned to Carrow Road on February 23, 1980 to again show the hosts how it’s done as they romped to a 4-0 win, luckily witnessed by the TV cameras.

Sandwiched in between 1-0 wins against Manchester United and Liverpool in the league and a 3-1 victory against Swindon that took them to a Wembley final in the League Cup, these were heady days for Wolves.

Perhaps not surprisingly then, the timing was right as the Star Soccer cameras were there to capture Wolves’ biggest top-flight away win for over four years.

White silk collars flapping in the breeze, Hibbitt put Wolves ahead from the spot after Roger Brown brought down John Richards when he had latched onto Andy Gray’s flick-on from Paul Bradshaw’s long kick.

Eves drilled home the second from 12 yards out after Daniel’s scuffed shot following Richards’s cut-back from Derek Parkin’s deep cross.

Richards made it 3-0 immediately following half-time when he steered home Hibbitt’s pull back after Willie Carr’s chip forward had been knocked on by Andy Gray.

Hibbitt netted his second penalty in the 48th minute after Daniel had been brought crashing down by David Jones as Wolves climbed to eighth.

There was a sense of rebirth in the air for the all-in-white visitors as a routine 3-1 win at Newport County sealed promotion from the Fourth Division for Graham Turner’s side on April 26, 1988.

It was far from being the most glamorous occasion to be a Wolves fan as they made their second and final appearance at a rundown Somerton Park, home of the soon-to-be relegated then defunct County in front of just 3,409 on a Tuesday night.

Steve Bull’s opportunist brace against Wolves’ 1980 League Cup-winning goalkeeper Bradshaw made it a stunning 50 goals in all competitions for the season as he became the first player to net a half century since Peterborough’s Terry Bly in 1960-61.

Bull’s strike partner Andy Mutch grabbed the other as Steve Tupling’s reply was a mere consolation.

And the three points gained from their game in hand against the chasing pack meant Turner’s champions-elect had clinched automatic promotion with three games left.

Talking of Bull, the club’s record goalscorer will never forget another day he played in white for the club – February 17, 1996 to be precise.

Barely 12 hours before kick-off Bully rushed to be at the birth of his youngest son Joe.

But despite a lack of sleep, he rushed straight back to East Anglia and scored two goals in a 3-2 win.

Bully put Mark McGhee’s side ahead with a first-time chip from 30 yards only to see Ian Crook equalise with a free kick.

Norwich were soon ahead after a poor header from John De Wolf was seized upon by Darren Eadie and he drove through the middle to score.

But Bull was at his lethal best as he latched onto Simon Osborn’s defence-splitting pass to finish with the outside of his right foot into the roof of the net from a tight angle to level.

And Don Goodman, who went on to be 20-goal top scorer that season, sealed a memorable win with a stunning free kick 15 minutes from time to make it seven games unbeaten.

Bobby Downes’s last of two wins as Wolves caretaker manager after the sacking of Taylor was a 3-2 success at Luton in December 1995, with the team in white.

Bull, Goodman Dean Richards netted in the five-goal affair at Kenilworth Road in a game that saw Wolves 3-1 ahead by half-time.

Back in the Black Country, Wolves ‘hit the beach’ to win in white in January 2003, with George Ndah’s lone strike settling a derby at the Banks’s Stadium.

The pitch had had 10,000 kilos of sand injected into it during the build-up to the game to help with drainage, and fittingly the difficult surface was responsible for the goal.

It was a howler from the home goalkeeper Jimmy Walker, who attempted a first-time clearance from Danny Hay’s routine back pass only to see the ball bobble over his foot with Ndah closing him down.

Walker scrambled back and managed to stop the ball crossing the line, but the Wolves striker was on hand to register his second winner from less than a yard six days after settling the epic FA Cup win against Newcastle.