When Wolves' 'Champions of the World' conquered the US of A

In 1953, Ferenc Puskas' Magnificient Magyars gave England a famous footballing lesson at Wembley, winning 6-3 at a shockingly stylish canter. In 1954, Wolves took on Honved, a team that included seven of the great Hungarians, and beat them after trailing by two at half-time. The logical conclusion of the English sporting press? – no, not that Wolves had won a memorable, if meaningless, friendly match, but that they had now somehow become 'Champions of the World'.

So where next for the all-conquering Black Country boys?

In 1967, the United Soccer Association (USA) kicked off East and West Coast leagues featuring imports publicised as ’12 of the best teams in the world’. Wolves became LA Wolves (or LA Toros), Stoke the Cleveland Stokers, Aberdeen the Washington Whips, and so on.

In the playoff final, LA Wolves beat the Washington Whips 6-5 in front of 17,824 at the 90,000-seater Memorial Stadium – ‘one of the greatest games in US soccer history’. It ended after 36 minutes of overtime, when Aberdonian Whip Ally Shewan dribbled into his own net.

Champs again - next stop, Mars...

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