Wolves close the gap to league-leaders West Brom while Liverpool slide towards relegation
14 November ~ Wolves closed to within a point of leaders West Brom after a goal from winger Jimmy Mullen secured a 1-0 win at Molineux in front of 56,590. Mullen was one of ten players in the Wolves squad to win England caps. He had made history as the first England substitute, replacing the injured Stan Mortensen against Belgium in 1950.
The Black Country rivals contested the title throughout the season. Wolves went top in early December, only to be overtaken by West Brom two months later. The return fixture on April 3 proved decisive with another 1-0 win for Wolves, who went on to take their first League championship by four points.
Manager Stan Cullis's side won two more titles in the 1950s. Their match against Hungarian champions Honved the following season, and the English press’ subsequent claim that Wolves were now “European champions”, helped inspire the creation of the European Cup.
Jimmy Glazzard scored both of newly promoted Huddersfield's goals in their 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday and went to be the League's top scorer with 29 goals as his side finished third. Second was West Brom's Ronnie Allen with 27 goals, plus another two in the FA Cup final, a 3-2 defeat of Preston. Allen later managed both West Brom and Wolves.
Portsmouth slipped into the bottom two after their home defeat by Preston but they rallied to finish 14th. Their squad contained five players who'd taken part in the consecutive League title-winning teams of 1948-50. The second relegation spot was decided on the final day of the season, Middlesbrough going down after a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal while Sheffield United saved themselves thanks to 2-1 home win over Villa.
Liverpool finished bottom after a club record 14 games without a win between December and April. Their side beaten 3-2 at Sunderland was missing several regulars including future managers Phil Taylor, who preceded Bill Shankly, and Bob Paisley, plus John Peel's boyhood hero, Scottish striker Billy Liddell.