Wolverhampton Wanderers, or Wolves as they are more commonly known, has a long and varied history within the English game. They have featured at every level of the English football league. During that time, many players graced the famous gold and black kit and made the club what it is today. Here are the ten players who have made the most appearances in the history of Wolves:
Derek Parkin (609 appearances from 1968–1982)
The full-back joined Wolves in 1968 from Huddersfield Town for £80,000. He proved excellent value for money, as Parkin enjoyed a 14-year career with the club from the Midlands.
The full-back was part of the team that won the Second Division title in the season 1976/77, as well the League Cup on two occasions in 1974 and 1980. Parkin was also among the first players to be inducted into the club’s hall of fame. He will forever be regarded as a club stalwart.
Kenny Hibbitt (574 appearances from 1968–1984)
Hibbitt joined the club the same year as Parkin, arriving from Bradford Park Avenue in 1968 for a fee of £5,000. However, the midfielder didn’t make his debut until April of the following year as a substitute against West Brom.
Hibbitt enjoyed a long career with the club, picking up winners’ medals in the League Cup in 1974 and 1980 while also being in the team that suffered a two-legged UEFA Cup final defeat to Tottenham in 1972.
The midfielder scored an impressive 114 goals for Wolves during his career, including the opening goal in the aforementioned 2-1 League Cup final win over Manchester City. Hibbitt holds the club record for goals scored in the League Cup, having scored 36 times in the competition.
In 2011, Hibbitt became an inductee to the Wolves Hall of Fame.
Steve Bull (561 appearances from 1986–1999)
Despite starting his professional career with Midlands rivals West Brom, ‘Bully’ became most synonymous with Wolves and became a club hero. From 1986 until 1999, the forward was a goal machine, scoring a club-record 306 goals, including an impressive 18 hattricks for the men from the Midlands.
Bull’s goals helped his team to win the Fourth Division title in 1988 and the following season the Third Division title, along with the Football Trophy in 1988.
The forward is also one of the rare breeds of players to have played in all four English football divisions. However, he only featured in the English top flight once, which was in 1986, when he appeared as a substitute for West Brom before his switch to Wolves.
Despite spending most of his career in the lower leagues, Bull made 13 appearances for England, scoring three times. He was part of Bobby Robson’s Three Lions squad for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
On an individual level, Bull was named in the Second Division Team of the Year in seasons 1989/90 and 1990/91. He was also awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to sport.
Billy Wright (541 appearances from 1939–1959)
The centre-back joined Wolves in 1939, but due to the second world war didn’t make his official debut until the 1945/46 season when he played in a two-legged FA Cup tie against Lovells Athletic.
Wright became a club and English football legend, as he captained Wolves to three English top-flight titles in 1954, 1958 and 1959, as well as the 1949. The defender was highly reliable and missed only 31 club games during the 1950s.
Wright was also a mainstay in the England national team from 1946 until 1959, as he made 105 appearances for the Three Lions.
The defender picked up many honours during his playing career, including winning the 1952 FWA Footballer of the Year award, finishing as a Ballon d’Or runner-up in 1957 and also picking an OBE in 1959.
He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the club’s version seven years later. Wright’s legacy will also live on courtesy of his statue outside Molineux Stadium, while the stadium’s Waterloo Road Stand is now the Billy Wright Stand.
Ron Flowers (512 appearances from 1952–1967)
The midfielder joined Wolves in 1952 after playing youth football with Doncaster Rovers and Wath Wanderers. Flowers went on to become a key player in Stan Cullis’ team that won the First Division title in 1954, 1958 and 1959, as well as finishing as top-flight runners-up in 1955 and 1960. Flowers also helped the team to the 1960 FA Cup.
The Yorkshire-born star also made 49 appearances for England and was in the 1966 World Cup-winning team. Only the 11 players who were on the pitch got a winner’s medal, Flowers had to wait until 2009, when the FA persuaded FIFA to issue medals to the whole of the Three Lions squad.
John McAlle (508 appearances from 1967–1981)
The Liverpool-born star joined Wolves as an apprentice in 1965 and turned professional two years later, making his first-team debut in 1968. Nicknamed ‘Scouse’ by teammates, the centre-back became a regular in the first team for much of the 1970s.
During his time with the Midlands club, he picked up two League Cup winners medals in 1974 and 1980, having also featured in the UEFA Cup final defeat to Tottenham in 1972. In 1977, McAlle was a crucial player in the team that won promotion to the First Division, as his team finished the campaign as Second Division champions.
Peter Broadbent (497 appearances from 1951-1965)
The inside forward joined Wolves in 1951 from Brentford for £10,000 and stayed at the club until 1965. Broadbent’s 100 goals for the Midlands club in his 14-year career helped his team win three English top-flight titles in 1954, 1958 and 1959, and an FA Cup in 1960. The forward is sixth on the list of Wolves’ all-time record goalscorers.
His goals during those golden years under the great Stan Cullis were enough to earn Broadbent a place in the Wolves Hall of Fame.
Broadbent also enjoyed a short international career with England, playing seven times and scoring two goals from 1958–1960.
Geoff Palmer (495 appearances from 1971–1984 and 1985–1986)
Palmer joined Wolves as a youth team player in 1970. He went on to enjoy two spells with the club between 1971–1984 and 1985–1986, with a one-season spell at Burnley sandwiched in between.
The full-back played for the club on 495 occasions, including in the 1974 League Cup final win over Manchester City. Palmer was also an ever-present in the team that claimed the Second Division title in 1977. He won the League Cup for a second time in 1980, as they defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the final, before helping the club back to the English top flight in 1983.
Jimmy Mullen (486 appearances from 1937–1960)
The outside left enjoyed a Wolves career that spanned over two decades after joining the Midlands club in 1937. In his 486 appearances, Mullen scored a respectable 112 goals, which played a part in the team’s three title successes in the 1950s and their 1949 FA Cup triumph.
During his time with Wolves, Mullen was also part of the teams that finished as English top-flight runners-up in seasons 1938–39, 1949–50 and 1954–55.
Mullen played 12 times for England from 1947–1954, scoring six times, while appearing at the 1950 and 1954 World Cups for his national team.
John Richards (486 appearances from 1969–1983)
The forward represented Wolves for 14 years, having joined the club as a professional in 1969. Richards made his first-team debut in February 1970 in a 3-3 draw at West Brom.
He became a goal machine with the club, and only Steve Bull has scored more goals than Richards’ tally of 194 for the Midlands club. The forward is also the club’s top goalscorer in the FA Cup, having notched 36 goals in the competition. His goals earned him the nickname ‘King John’.
Like many on this list, he picked up silverware during his time with the club, winning the League Cup twice and being a runner-up in the UEFA Cup against Tottenham.
Despite his impressive scoring record, Richards made just one international appearance, which came in a friendly against Northern Ireland at Goodison Park in 1973. His lack of international appearances was mainly due to England’s embarrassment of riches in attack during the prime of his career.