Wolverhampton Wanderers: top 30 players - Number one

Wolves Billy Wright Stand

During March, we've worked our way through the greatest 30 players to ever play for Wolverhampton Wanderers - but who finishes in first place?


The sight of his own stature in front of a stand renamed in his memory tells you that Billy Wright is held in the highest of regards at Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Wright began life at Wolves in 1938 but any progress he made during his early years at the club was put on hold due to the second World War. However, once competitive football resumed after a time in which the centre-back sustained a broken ankle that threatened his career, he was made captain of the club.


In the third season back, Wright skippered Wolves to the 1949 FA Cup, which they won with a 3-1 win over Leicester City in front of almost 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium. That represented Wolves' first triumph in the competition for 41 years, but Wright's best years at Molineux came during the 1950s.


After a slump between 1950 and 1952, Wolves won top-flight titles and six top-three finishes in seven years with Wright at the back. It remains the club's most successful period and by the time Wright retired in 1959, he had made 490 appearances in the league, leaving him in second place to Derek Parkin in the all-time list.


While he was at Wolves, Wright also became one of the greatest servants in England's history, making 105 appearances during a 13-year period. At the time, he was the first player to play 100 times on the international stage, and he currently shares the record for most games as captain of the Three Lions alongside Bobby Moore.


He was named as the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1952 and finished runner-up to Alfredo Di Stefano for the 1957 European Footballer of the Year. Those two accolades highlight his importance for Wolves, but Wright is an all-time great on both the domestic and international scene and Wolves especially will never be fortunate enough to have another player possessing the same all-round class and leadership as the Ironbridge-born player.

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