Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool (22/01/2011) - Double Agents
Thursday, 20th January 2011

In advance of our League meeting at Molineux on Saturday, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those who have represented both Wolves and the reds.

Current double agent
Reserves midfielder Mick Halsall signed professional terms in 1979 and left for Birmingham City four years later without having made the break-through. He moved to Molineux in July 2009 as Assistant Academy Manager, and coach of the Under-16's and Under-18's.

Striking stars
Dick Forshaw remains the only player to win the League with both Liverpool and Everton, helping us to back-to-back titles in the early 1920's, and netting 124 times in 288 reds games. After two years at Goodison, he joined Second Division Wolves in August 1929, although he only made six League appearances in his one season with them.

Alun Evans became Britain's first £100,000 teenager when he signed for the reds from Wolves in September 1968. He netted on his debut and then bagged a brace against his former club the following week. He struck 33 times in 111 reds games before knee injuries robbed him of his place, with his final reds game coming against Wolves in January 1972. He left in June of that year to join Aston Villa for £70,000.

Reds skippers
Emlyn Hughes played 665 times in his twelve years at Anfield after signing from Blackpool for just £65,000 in February 1967, netting 49 times and winning two European Cups, four League titles, two UEFA Cups, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and two FA Charity Shields. His greatest season was probably 1976/77 when he captained the side to within a whisker of a unique treble, as well as being voted the Football Writers' Player of the Year. He joined Wolves for £90,000 in August 1979, leading them to the League Cup in his first season. He netted twice in 58 League outings for the Midlands outfit before joining Rotherham United as Player/Manager in 1981.

Ian Ross signed professional terms in August 1965 and captained our reserves to Central League glory, only playing 69 senior games in seven years as a red, netting four times. He left for Aston Villa in February 1972 for £60,000 and later joined Wolves, even spending ten days as their Caretaker Manager. Paul Ince played 81 games in his two years at Anfield after signing from Internazionale for £4.2m in July 1997, scoring seventeen times. However, his best days were behind him, and Gérard Houllier shipped him off to Middlesbrough within a year of taking charge due to his unruly influence. He moved to Molineux in August 2002, a month after being released by Middlesbrough. He struck twelve times in 131 games, but left in August 2006 after being overlooked for the Manager's job.

Between the sticks
Cyril Sidlow helped us to the title in 1947 and the FA Cup Final three years later after signing for £4,000 from Wolves in February 1946, then a record fee for a keeper, despite only making four League appearances for them. He played 165 reds games before moving into amateur football with New Brighton in August 1952. Ex-reds reserves keeper Alex Scott played 119 League games, and the 1939 FA Cup Final, for Wolves.

Paul Jones joined Wolves for £40,000 from Kidderminster Harriers in July 1991, playing just 44 times before moving to Stockport County for £60,000 five years later. He returned to Molineux in January 2004, signing from Southampton for £250,000, playing a further 26 games before moving on to Queens Park Rangers in February 2006. He had just spent a two-game loan spell at Anfield before returning to the Midlands.

Paul Harrison never made a first-team appearance before being released in July 2005, although he was an unused substitute thirteen times. He is perhaps sadly best remembered as the son of one of the Hillsborough victims. He signed for Wolves in November 2005, moving on again to Chester City the following February without playing a senior game. Jørgen Nielsen also never played a senior reds game, but he did sit on the bench 55 times following his £400,000 capture from Hvidovre in August 1997. He had two loan spells with Wolves in 1999, although he failed to make a first-team appearance on either occasion.

Forward disappointments
Robbie Keane signed for Wolves in July 1997, grabbing 29 goals in 88 outings before moving to Coventry City for £6m in August 1999. He moved to L4 from Tottenham Hotspur for £19.3m in July 2008, but only netted seven times in 28 games before making the return journey for an initial £15m fee in January 2009.

Stan Collymore started his professional career with Wolves in July 1989, before moving into non-League football with Stafford Rangers thirteen months later after failing to break into the first team. He netted 35 times in 81 reds games after signing from Nottingham Forest for £8.5m in July 1995, but was offloaded to Aston Villa in February 2000 for £7m, where he again failed to fulfil his potential. Billy Hartill only played four times for the reds after moving across Stanley Park in January 1936, moving on to Bristol Rovers just two months later. He had previously bagged 162 goals in 221 League games for Wanderers, helping them to the Second Division title in 1932, and remains their third top goalscorer of all time. Forward Jack Sambrook turned out just twice for the reds, both times against Chelsea, after signing from Wolves in August 1922. He moved on to Stockport County the following May.

Inside-forward Sammy Smyth netted twenty times in 44 reds games after joining from Stoke City for £12,000 in December 1952, although his goals could not prevent us suffering relegation in 1954, after which he moved on to Bangor City in January 1955 back in his native Northern Ireland. He had joined Wolves from Linfield in July 1947, and struck 43 times in 116 games, including in their 1949 FA Cup Final defeat of Leicester City.

Other loan moves
Midfielder Paul Stewart was one of Graeme Souness's failed buys, arriving from Tottenham Hotspur for £2.3m in July 1992. He bagged three goals in 42 uninspiring appearances before leaving for free after four seasons at Anfield. He joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan in September 1994, scoring twice in ten appearances.

Mark Walters signed from Rangers for £1.25m in August 1991 and joined Wolves on loan in September 1994. He struck three times in eleven appearances for Wolves before returning to Anfield. The most famous of his 124 games in a red shirt came when he inspired a UEFA Cup comeback against Auxerre in 1991. He also scored the crucial second goal in our defeat of Manchester United that handed the title to Leeds United earlier the following year, one of his nineteen reds strikes.

Other double agents
Scotland Road-born inside-left Jimmy Melia netted 79 times in 286 reds games, helping us to the Second and First Division titles. He moved to Molineux for £50,000 in March 1964, scoring four goals in 24 League games, although he left for Southampton for a £30,000 fee that December. Centre-half Keith Burkinshaw only made one senior reds appearance after signing from Denaby United in November 1953, against Port Vale in April 1955. The rest of his playing career was also fairly inconsequential, but he found greater success as a Manager, notably with Tottenham Hotspur between 1976 and 1984. He had earlier been on Wolves' books as an amateur.

Darren Potter made seventeen senior appearances under Rafael Benítez, but moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2007 for £250,000 after a successful loan spell there. He bagged just one goal in 67 outings in total before joining Sheffield Wednesday in July 2009 after a loan period with the Owls. Winger Mark Kennedy joined Wolves from Manchester City for £2m in July 2001. He grabbed fourteen goals in 187 games before moving on to fellow Championship outfit Crystal Palace in July 2006. He had signed from Millwall for £1.5m in March 1995 but only played 21 times for us, before being sold to Wimbledon for £1.75m three years later. Steve Staunton was appointed as a scout under Mick McCarthy at Molineux in 2009, but is longer in that role.

Right-winger George Bowen signed from Wolves in May 1901 but only played twice for the reds before moving back to Molineux in 1902. Right-back John Chadburn arrived from West Bromwich Albion in May 1903 and only played twice before moving on to Plymouth Argyle the following year. He had been at Wolves before moving to The Hawthorns. Joseph Keetley signed from Accrington Stanley in November 1923 and struck twice in nine reds games before moving to Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1925.

Andy Beattie guested for the reds at full-back during the Second World War, and later spent some time on our backroom staff. He managed a host of clubs including Wolves in 1964/65 when they were relegated from the top flight, as well as the Scotland national side. He worked with Bill Shankly at Huddersfield Town, having played alongside him at Preston North End. Frank O'Donnell struck once in two wartime appearances for the reds, and also turned out for the Molineux outfit during this time.

Irish international centre-half Matt O'Mahoney started out with the reds but failed to play a first-team match during his time there in 1933, also not making a senior outing for Wolves in 1935/36. He left Molineux to join Bristol Rovers in May 1936, for whom he played more than a century of League games.

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