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April 8th 2019
Yesterday was one of the most disappointing of my experiences as a football fan. I was at Wembley to watch Wolves in the FA Cup semi-final against Watford, and with 10 minutes to go we were cruising imperiously to a 2-0 victory. It was all to fall apart, as Watford scored twice - including an equaliser in the last minute of stoppage time - to force the match to extra time, and then scored once more to knock us out. But, rather than dwelling on this, or musing on the fact that our over-achievement this season shouldn't be negated by a single disappointing result, I'm casting my mind down memory lane to the good experiences. Here are my ten favourite times I've seen Wolves live.

10. Wolves 3-1 Leeds (28 December 2003)
My early years as a Wolves fan were spent waiting for the Promised Land of the Premiership, but we fell short time and time again. Finally, in 2003, we made it, and this was the one match that Dad and I went to see in Wolves' Premiership debut season. It was also Wolves' biggest win that season - this helps to explain why we finished last - with a brace from Steffen Iversen and a comical own goal from Alan Smith right in front of us. The excitement of the win was matched by seeing players I recognised from TV - Mark Viduka! - for the first time in the flesh.

9. Bristol City 1-4 Wolves (1 December 2012)
I joined Dush at Ashton Gate, in with the home fans, to see a match that we'd expected to be a tight bottom-of-the-table clash. It was anything but, as Wolves stormed into a 4-0 lead by half-time, Kevin Doyle in particular running the defence ragged. There was a big smile on face as home fans drifted out in the interval, many failing to return for the second half. A false dawn, as we were relegated to League One that season, but what a dawn.

8. Wolves 5-1 Bolton (25 November 2017)
My good friend Rich - whose birthday is today, by the bye; happy birthday Rich! - rents a house from the Wolves physio, a chap who kindly offered to sort us out with some Molineux tickets. This was our match of choice, and even given the fact that it was a top vs. bottom game, the demolition was something to be seen. On Wolves' march to the Premier League that season, few victories were so monumental.

7. Wolves 1-0 Doncaster (3 May 2009)
The match itself was nothing much to speak of, but no one in the ground cared much for what was happening on the pitch. This was the last game of the season in which Wolves won the Championship, so there was a carnival atmosphere throughout - beach balls, chanting of 'Championes', Mexican waves that even the Doncaster fans joined in with - and the icing on the cake was the parading of the trophy after the final whistle.

6. Bristol City 1-2 Wolves (30 December 2017)
I've seen a few Wolves wins at Ashton Gate but this was the sweetest. Sitting with Dad, Geoff & Jonty (from church) behind the goal, we witnessed a key turning point in the season for both teams in our respective battles for promotion. After a tight game in which each team had a player sent off - the City goalkeeper, right in front of us, seeing red for the most blatant foul on a last man that I've ever seen - it was 1-1 going into the dying embers of the match. A free kick; a cross; a headed goal and Wolves were on their way. We never looked back.

5. Wolves 3-0 Grimsby (6 November 1999)
Ade Akinbiyi is mostly remembered, these days, as a hilarious failure who took an age to score for Leicester City and then celebrated as if he'd won the league. Not by me: I remember him mostly for the hat-trick he scored against Grimsby, in the one season he spent with us after becoming our club record signing from Bristol City (3.5m - how times change). Andy Sinton won man of the match, as his precision crossing made the difference on the day, but Akinbiyi was one hell of a goal poacher on his day.

4. Wolves 3-2 Sunderland (27 November 2010)
Powly and I went up to Molineux on a freezing day to see this goal-fest, a tough match against a decent Sunderland side (tough to imagine, these days), made all the more exciting by the fact that we were 2-1 down with only ten minutes to go. A stunning turnaround - back in the days when two goals in the last ten minutes was something I could think about without wincing - gave us a rare win in a season where we only survived in the Premier League with minutes to spare.

3. Tottenham 1-3 Wolves (29 December 2018)
One of my '40 by 40' list of things to achieve was watching Wolves at Wembley; at that point we hadn't been there since winning the 1988 Sherpa Van Trophy. And so, when Spurs ran into trouble with plans to open their new stadium, I was delighted to hear that they'd postponed it just long enough to host Wolves as their final match at Wembley. As it turned out they delayed it even longer, but what a match it was: Wolves were 1-0 down at half-time and second best, but Spurs seemed to tire after the hour mark and we took full advantage. Three goals later and I was jubilant, even though I had to hide it (not very well) amidst the Spurs fans. Not the same atmosphere as my trip there yesterday, but a much more pleasing outcome.

2. Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United (28 October 1995)
You always remember your first. This was the first match that I ever saw, as a tenth birthday treat with Dad and Simon (it is highly likely to remain Simon's last live football experience, as well as his first). I have never been a big fan of views, but walking up those steps to see all of Molineux unfold in front of me was truly breathtaking. Nothing has quite matched that experience since, even walking out into the stands at Wembley. The day was made complete by the victory, the only goal coming from - who else? - Steve Bull.

1. Wolves 2-1 Manchester United (16 March 2019)
Late on in this match I turned to Rich and told him that this was the best match I'd ever been to, and I meant it. The game kicked off at the unusual time of 7.55pm on a Saturday, as it was an FA Cup quarter-final that was being broadcast live on BBC One, and there is always something special about a match under the floodlights - particularly since Molineux started putting on light shows before kick-off. I have never known an atmosphere like it, as every Wolves fan in the packed ground went into the match expecting something special. We waved our flags, we sang Hi Ho Wolverhampton, we sat down - and jumped up - and witnessed a masterful home victory against Solskjaer's seemingly unassailable United team. This was our season. This was our night. This was something to remember.

what was I listening to?
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
what was I reading?
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
what was I watching?
John Wick
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