John Richards (footballer)
|Full name||John Peter Richards|
|Date of birth||9 November 1950|
|Place of birth||Warrington, Lancashire, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|1982–1983||→ Derby County (loan)||10||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Richards signed for the Molineux club as a professional in July 1969 and made his debut on 28 February 1970 in a 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion. He scored his first league goal for Wolves the following season against Huddersfield Town on 19 September 1970.
In 1971–72, "King John" came of age, scoring 13 league goals and helping Wolves become runners-up in the UEFA Cup. The following season he was even stronger, scoring 36 goals in total (his highest seasonal tally) and, in 1974, he scored the winning goal as the team beat Manchester City to win the League Cup. Richards was leading scorer for Wolves in six of the next seven seasons, culminating in winning a second League Cup medal in 1980 against Nottingham Forest.
During his time with the club, Richards became Wolves’ all-time leading scorer with 194 goals in total, a record that was subsequently bettered by Steve Bull in 1992. However, he still holds the club record for the most FA Cup goals, with 24.
Richards' goal-scoring prowess was rewarded with a single England cap, against Northern Ireland on 12 May 1973 at Goodison Park. The competition for international places was fierce, though, and the acknowledged talent England possessed in the form of Kevin Keegan, Martin Chivers and Allan Clarke ensured Richards became a "one-cap wonder".
After retiring as a player, Richards went into local government in Wolverhampton; later returning to Wolves as managing director in 1994, a post he held until 2000. He currently works as operations director of Pitchcare, a Telford-based online service for groundsmen.