Manchester Utd 5 Wolves 0
Manchester United 5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0, Old Trafford English Football League First Division, October 3, 1981. Following a narrow 1-0 triumph against Leeds United, Manchester United went on to outclass Wolverhampton Wanderers in their next fixture. Northern Ireland player Sammy McIlroy hit a treble, while Frank Stapleton and Garry Birtles netted a goal each in the 5-0 beating of Wolves.
Long gone were the glory days of the legendary Major Frank Buckley who had laid the foundations for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ success in the 1950s. Before an attendance of almost 47,000 spectators at Old Trafford, Manchester United launched themselves into attack from the outset and took the lead against Wolverhampton when expensive summer signing Frank Stapleton ran onto a brilliant through ball from offensive oriented midfielder Sammy McIlroy and placed his effort beyond the reach of former England U21 goalkeeper Paul Bradshaw in the ninth minute of the encounter. Then, some 12 minutes later in the match, McIlroy scored himself as he hammered the ball past Bradshaw and into the back of the net from just inside the penalty area to give the hosts a 2-0 cushion at half-time. In the second period, the seasoned campaigner added two more goals in the 50th and 76th minutes respectively to complete his hat-trick before Garry Birtles rounded off the scoring spree in the 86th minute with a clever finish to make it 5-0 in the favour of the home side. A Nottingham native, Birtles had joined Manchester United from fellow First Division club Nottingham Forest for an estimated fee of £1.25 million in 1980, but failed to fulfil his potential while at Old Trafford and returned to City Ground in 1982. The striker later appeared for Notts County and Grimsby Town before he called it a day in 1991. Manchester United Team: Gary Bailey, John Gidman, Martin Buchan, Kevin Moran, Arthur Albiston, Sammy McIlroy, Ray Wilkins, Remi Moses, Garry Birtles, Frank Stapleton, Steve Coppell. Substitutes: None. Wolverhampton Wanderers Team: Paul Bradshaw, Geoff Palmer, Derek Parkin, Joe Gallagher, George Berry, Kenny Hibbitt, Peter Daniel, Alan Birch, Andy Gray, John Richards, Mike Matthews. Substitute: Hugh Atkinson.
Manchester United Quickfacts
On the 12th of November 1980, Manchester United were held to a disappointing goalless First Division draw by Wolves in front of an equally disappointing crowd of 38,000 people at Old Trafford.