Initially formed as St Luke's FC in 1877, the club became a founder member of the Football League 11 years later. In 1889, the club moved to their Molineux ground and reached the FA Cup final, losing 3-0 to Preston North End. The first of four FA Cup wins came in 1893, when they beat Everton 1-0.
In 1906, Wolves were relegated to the Second Division, but enjoyed another FA Cup win two years later, this time over favourites Newcastle United. In 1923 the club slipped further down the league system, with relegation to the Third Division (north.).
Success came 12 months later when they won Division Two. In 1932, they were promoted again, returning to the top-flight after a 26 year absence.
When Wolves old-boy Stan Cullis became manager in 1948, he oversaw one of the club's most triumphant periods, with an FA Cup win in 1949 being followed by three First Division titles in the fifties. Another FA Cup success, this time over Blackburn Rovers, came in 1960. After Cullis left the club in 1963, Wolves spent two seasons in the second tier before winning promotion once more.
Under manager Bill McGarry, the club made a UEFA Cup Final appearance against Tottenham Hotspur in 1972 and won the League Cup in 1974. In 1976 Wolves were relegated back to the Second Division, but they bounced back at the first time of asking, promoted as champions in 1977.
The early 1980s saw a League Cup win, a relegation to the Second Division, bankruptcy, and a promotion, followed by three successive relegations which left the club in the Fourth Division.
A change of ownership saw a dramatic improvement in the club's fortunes. The Molineux outfit won promotion from Division Four in 1987/88, which was followed by a second successive promotion a year later.
In 1990, Sir Jack Hayward bought the club and with his investment in the stadium and the team, the club enjoyed more stability, spending much of the 1990s pushing for a place in the Premier League, with several play-off final disappointments along the way.
The dream of Premier League football was eventually realised in 2003, with a play-off final win over Sheffield United at the Millennium Stadium clinching their promotion. Having seen his beloved club hit the big time, Hayward retired six months later.