The Black Country derby between Wolves and West Brom is one of the oldest and most fiercely competed derbies in the history of English football.
Dating all the way back to 1883, the two clubs were battling for bragging rights with one another since before the Football League was formed when the Baggies won 4-2 against Wanderers in the Birmingham Senior Cup. In the 1950s the rivalry between the two sides reached it’s peak with both of them competing for major honours.
West Brom have had the upper-hand in the total number of meetings between the two, winning 64 times in 160 clashes, compared to Wolves’ 53. Even with this fierce rivalry, there have been players who played for both Wolves and West Brom. In this article, we will be having a look at some of those players.
A 2008 football pools survey of 6,000 supporters across the country ranked West Bromwich Albion versus Wolverhampton Wanderers as the fiercest rivalry in English football. Here are the 10 best players to have played for both Wolves and West Brom.
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10. Paul Bradshaw
Paul Bradshaw was a goalkeeper who played in the Football League between 1974-1991. He is best remembered for his time with Wolves when he became their record signing in 1977 for £150,000.
Bradshaw made 243 appearances for them between 1977-1983, playing in their 1980 League Cup winning side. He was voted the club’s Player of the Year in both 1981 and 1982.
Bradshaw had two spells with West Brom, playing just 16 leagues games overall. He was mostly used as a backup player at West Brom. He is still one of the best players to have played for both Wolves and West Brom.
9. Ted Pheasant
Ted joined Wolves from non-League club Wednesbury Excelsior in 1895. He made his league debut on 19 September 1896 in a 3–4 loss at Derby, but had to wait until the 1898–99 season to become a first choice player.
Ted was an ever-present for two successive seasons during 1899–1901, amassing 168 games for the club over a nine-year stay. He then moved to neighbours West Bromwich Albion in November 1904 for a £500 transfer fee and in the same month made his debut against Manchester United in a Division Two match. He appeared in 152 games for Albion in all competitions, scoring 22 goals.
8. Robbie Dennison
West Bromwich Albion spotted Dennison at Irish club Glenavon and signed him on a two-year deal in September 1985. However, he failed to establish himself in the starting line-up and signed for rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers for £20,000 in March 1987.
The winger found his feet and was a first choice player at Wolves. The team won back to back promotions from the Division 4. Dennison also won an Associate Members’ Cup winners medal, scoring in the 2–0 final win over Burnley in 1988 and scored one of the goals. In total, he made over 300 appearances in total for Wolves, scoring 49 times.
7. Joleon Lescott
Lescott came through the Academy ranks at Wolves and led the team to the promised land at the Millennium Stadium. He made his first-team debut with Wolves in 2000 and he was named the supporters’ Young Player of the Year two years running.
Plenty more hours, days, months and years have elapsed since his £5million move to Everton and £22million transfer to Manchester City. After being released from City in 2014, Lescott joined West Brom.
After signing for West Brom, Lescott said ‘No disrespect to anyone here, but it won’t diminish the affection I have for Wolves’. He left the club for Aston Villa in 2015.
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6. Don Goodman
Not only did Goodman play for West Brom and Wolves, the former striker also had a spell at Walsall, who have always been a third-wheel when it comes to the Black Country derby.
Goodman was a top striker both in his time at The Hawthorns between 1987 and 1991 before suiting up in gold and black between 1994 and 1998.
5. Andy Gray
Gray is one of the finest strikers that West Midlands football has ever seen. He is more well known for him time at Aston Villa and Everton but the 20-times Scotland international was also prolific for the two Black Country rivals.
Gray helped Wolves win the 1980 League Cup – their last piece of major silverware – and helped West Brom avoid relegation from the Second Division in 1988.
4. Andy Thompson
Andy Thompson played one season for West Brom in 1985-86. He appeared in 24 league games and scored 1 goal. He then joined Wolves and went on to make 451 appearances in an 11-year stay at Molineux.
Thompson also notched 45 goals and cemented his status as the undoubted penalty king of his Wolves era. He epitomised versatility, playing in a variety of positions for Wolves, but most commonly as a full-back.
He was part of the Wolves revival of the late 1980s which saw the club bounce back from near extinction to win successive Fourth and Third Division championships, and the Sherpa Van Trophy at Wembley in 1988.
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3. Cyrille Regis
Not many Wolves players can turn up at The Hawthorns and get a standing ovation from the West Brom fans, but Regis was something special.
The former England, West Brom and Wolves striker died earlier this year and he had such an impact on football that there were tributes held to him across English football.
Regis was part of the Albion team of the late 1970s and early 1980s, scoring 81 times in 241 games. Regis went to Wolves in 1993 after spells at Coventry and Aston Villa.
2. Steve Bull
The only reason Bull is not on top of this list is that he only made a handful of appearances for West Brom before joining Wolves in 1986.
‘Bully’ played just four times for the Baggies, scoring two goals as they were relegated from the old Second Division.
He was sold to Wolves. In 561 appearances, Bull scored 306 goals and earned 13 caps for England despite never playing in the top-flight.
1. Ally Robertson
Robertson spent his entire footballing career in the Black Country. For just under two decades, the hard-as-nails centre-back played over 500 times for West Brom in one of their best eras in their long history.
Somehow Robertson never won a cap for Scotland despite spending much of his career playing at the top end of English football with the Baggies.
In 1986, Robertson joined Wolves, helping them win back-to-back promotions and captained them to the Football League Trophy in 1988.
Not many players have made such an impact as Robertson which puts him top of this list.