WOLVES PROMOTION HEROES REUNITE
Saturday 07 January 2017
THREE of the team that took Wolves into the Premier League for the first time will be reunited at a pub in Wolverhampton later this month.
It’s now the 14th year since Dave Jones’ side reached the promised land through glory in the Championship play-off final.
Matt Murray, Lee Naylor and Paul Butler have all retired since and will relive their playing days at the Cleveland Arms Sports Bar, Stowheath Lane, on Thursday January 26.
They emphatically defeated Sheffield United 3-0 through a first-half blitz at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which was used as Wembley Stadium was being rebuilt.
Goals from Mark Kennedy, Nathan Blake and Kenny Miller had the result in the bag by half-time, despite attempts from the Blades for a comeback after the break.
Murray, Naylor and Butler were all in the starting line-up for the crunch clash, which took the club into the now re-branded top flight after an 18-year absence.
Goalkeeper Murray preserved the clean sheet with a memorable save in the 48th minute, pushing away Michael Brown’s penalty.
Centre-half Butler gave the spot kick away after handling in the box, but redeemed himself by helping to steady the ship as Wolves closed out the victory.
Right-back Naylor kept the momentum going down his flank and revelled in the success as much as anyone, having come through the club’s youth ranks.
Murray would make his only-ever Premier League appearance on the opening day of the following season, a 5-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.
A horrendous run of injuries plagued the rest of his career and he called time in August 2010, with Wolves his only permanent club. Still aged just 35, he’s now a football pundit for Sky Sports.
Butler, a £1million Wolves buy from Sunderland in January 2001 after a successful loan spell, struck up a partnership with former Black Cats team-mate Jody Craddock in 2003-04.
He left Molineux the following summer after failing to agree a new contract and played for Leeds, Milton Keynes Dons and Chester before hanging up his boots in 2009.
Naylor was an ever-present of Wolves’ first Premier League campaign and stayed loyal after they were relegated, before Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic came calling in 2006.
He would win the Scottish Premier League title, Scottish Cup and play in the Champions League for the Bhoys before departing as a free agent in 2010.
After spending time with Wolves to keep fit, he signed for Cardiff City and later turned out for Accrington Stanley and Derby County, the latter his last club who he parted ways with in 2015.
Tickets are available now for the show starting with standard entry costing £10, payable either in advance or on the door.
VIP packages sold out within days of going on sale.
VIPs will be welcomed from 6pm, with standard entry from 7pm. Proceedings get underway from 8pm and there will also be a memorabilia auction and raffle with a donation to a local charity.
Tickets can be purchased online, at either
. For more information, call in at the venue or dial 01902 451021.
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