Memory Match: Wolves v Liverpool, May 4, 1976

Date published: Wednesday 4th May 2016 8:48

Emlyn Hughes and David Fairclough: Liverpool icons lift the trophy

Emlyn Hughes and David Fairclough: Liverpool icons lift the trophy

Liverpool travelled to Molineux in a match dubbed by the Wolves programme as “The Great First Division Drama”, with both teams needing wins for opposite reasons.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Liverpool 3

Wolves welcomed the red half of Merseyside to the Black Country knowing they needed a win plus a loss from neighbours Birmingham City to avoid relegation.

Liverpool meanwhile just needed a point to beat Queens Park Rangers to the first division title, and tens of thousands of there fans made the journey down as a member of Wolves forum ‘Molineux Mix’ recalled.

“The South Bank was simply overflowing with scousers. I mean literally, they were on the roof, on the floodlights, everywhere. I reckon there must have been 30,000 of them in there.
We were packed into the North Bank like sardines.”

The Wanderers silenced the travelling masses inside the opening 15 minutes thanks to a goal from Steve Kindon, and with news filtering through that Birmingham were also losing, Molineux was electric.

A legend to fans of Wolves and Huddersfield Town, the striker burst through the Redmen back line before thumping a near-post shot past Ray Clemence with trademark Kindon precision.

Liverpool began the second half needing a goal, and after a period of pressure they equalised through Kevin Keegan with 76 minutes on the clock.

Tommy Smith whipped a ball over from the right side that John Tosack glanced to the far post, where Keegan crept in to bundle home and put them back on course for the title.

The goal dented Wolves’ hopes of a final day miracle, and they went behind as Toshack turned provider to scorer, bringing down a loose ball in the area before calmly slotting home.

Ray Kennedy made sure of the points in the final minute of the match, smashing an effort into the roof of the net from a narrow angle, sparking a mass pitch invasion from the travelling Liverpool supporters.

The visitors had done the business, giving Bob Paisley a deserved title as manager, and a ninth First Division win in club history.

The Wanderers however were relegated as Birmingham emerged winners, preserving their top flight status for another season.

Teams

Wolves: Pierce, Sunderland, Palmer, Daley, Bailey, Parkin, Hibbitt, Carr, Kindon, Richards, Kelly (Gould 67).

Goals: Kindon 13

Liverpool: Clemence, Smith, Neal, Thompson, Kennedy, Hughes, Keegan, Case (Fairclough 60), Heighway, Toshack, Callaghan.

Goals: Keegan 76, Toshack 85, Kennedy 89

Bob Paisley

What they said

Bob Paisley, having won his first trophy as manager at Anfield, reflected on a wonderful season.

“The turning point for Liverpool this season was our defeat at Ipswich quite early on,” Paisley told the Liverpool Echo.

“We lost there and I believed we should have won. I pulled no punches in telling the players what I thought and from that day we hit a consistent streak which brought us success.

“Four new men have been brought into the team in my two years – Ray Kennedy, Phil Neal, Jimmy Case and David Fairclough. The rest of them are seasoned players who learned the Liverpool way through the successful years.

“And our fans? Well they get better all the time. Without them, we wouldn’t be a club, so I’ll finish by thanking them on behalf of all the players.”

 

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