Steve Bull

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Steve Bull : biography

28 March 1965 –

In 1989–90, he finally played Second Division football for Wolves, his first goal at this level coming on 26 August 1989 in a 1-1 home draw with Bradford City. On Boxing Day, he reached the 10-goal margin in the league, before impressively grabbing all four goals for Wolves in their 4-1 win at Newcastle United on New Year’s Day 1990. On 20 March, in the Black Country derby at Molineux, as Wolves beat struggling Albion 2-1 to boost their promotion hopes, Bull scored his 20th league goal of the campaign. A hat-trick against Leicester City followed a month later, and he finished that campaign with 24 league goals and 26 in all competitions, although Wolves missed out on the playoffs and the chance of a third successive promotion.

He started the 1990–91 season in style with both goals at home to promotion favourites Oldham Athletic, who came away from the Molineux with a 3-2 victory. A hat-trick in a 4-0 home win over Bristol City saw him reach the 11-goal mark in the league by 6 October, and he reached the 20-goal margin (for the fourth reason running) on 26 February as they beat Port Vale 3-1 at home. A hat-trick at home to Oxford United in a thrilling 3-3 draw came the following month, and Bull finished the season with 25 goals in the league and 26 in all competitions.

Late in the 1991-92 season, he scored his 195th competitive goal for Wolves after just over five years at the club, breaking the club’s decade-old goalscoring record set by John Richards. Early in the following season he scored his 200th goal for the club.

Bull remained a prolific goalscorer in the second tier of the English league, and stayed loyal to his Midlands roots despite interest from the likes of Coventry City and Newcastle United. In 1995, when former England manager Graham Taylor was manager at Molineux, he agreed with then Coventry City boss, Ron Atkinson, the sale of Bull to the Highfield Road club. There was an outcry from the gold and black sector of the Black Country and the local Express and Star newspaper launched a campaign to keep him at Wolves. Ultimately, Bull backed out of the opportunity to play Premier League football with Coventry and decided to stay at Wolves.

More than three years earlier, during the 1991-92 season, it had been reported that Bull was a transfer target for Leeds United,http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ERFZAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QpADAAAAIBAJ&pg=1422,3302022&dq=alan+shearer+southampton&hl=en the team who won the top division title that season.

Bull played only one game in the English top flight — coming on as a substitute, replacing Andy Thompson, for West Bromwich Albion in 1986 — the rest of his career was spent in the lower divisions. He came close to achieving his ambition of reaching the Premier League in 1995 and 1997, but Wolves lost in the play-offs both times.

During his final two seasons at Molineux, his chances of first-team football were reduced by a series of knee injuries. He reached the 300-goal milestone on 18 February 1998, scoring in a 2-0 home win over Bradford City in the league.

Bull’s final goal for the club came against Bury on 26 September 1998 and his final competitive appearance for the club came on the last day of the 1998-99 season against Bradford City. By January 1999, however, reports were circulating that Bull would soon be retiring as a player due to an ongoing knee problem.

On 13 July 1999, at the age of 34, Bull finally admitted defeat in his battle to fully regain fitness and announced his retirement after 13 years with Wolves.

However, he soon returned to playing as player-coach of Hereford United for a season in the Conference, working with Graham Turner, the manager who had signed him for Wolves.

Known by his fans as ‘Bully’ for his club loyalty, rapport with supporters and passion for the game and also known as the "Tipton Skin" for his trademark closely cropped haircut, he received an MBE for services to Association Football in December 1999, shortly after retiring as a first class player.