clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

They Played For Both Clubs: Wolverhampton Wanderers

In the return of long-lost series, Chris takes a look at a player who has worn both white and dirty gold shirts with distinction

Pete Norton/Getty Images

I was just chilling the other night watching the 1992 Royal Rumble - the one that Ric Flair won - and I realised that it had been a long time since I wrote one of these bad boys. So I don't know if you have missed them or not, but hey, I have been given the power to pretty much write whatever I want so here goes.

Bolton Wanderers welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Reebok this afternoon, so let's have a quick looky at a former favourite of both sides - Sam Ricketts.

Born in October 1981 in Aylesbury, Ricketts is a product of the Oxford United youth system. Turning professional in 2000, he would spend two seasons at the club making 45 appearances, scoring twice.

Making his name as an attacking fullback, Ricketts spent time on loan at Nuneaton Borough in 2002 before moving to Telford United for a season in 2003. His time at Telford would however be cut short when the club went into liquidation with Ricketts becoming a free agent soon after.

He soon attracted the attention of a larger clubs and moved to Swansea City at the start of the 2004 season under the supervision of present-day Wolves boss Kenny Jackett. Continuing his impressive form, Ricketts helped the team to promotion from League Two in his first season, during which he was selected in the division's PFA Team of the Year.

His second season saw the team reach the League One Play-off Final, but Ricketts was part of the team that lost on penalties to Barnsley. Again his good form would prompt a move when he joined Hull City for £300,000 in 2006 following 89 appearances for Swansea.

Ricketts spent three years at Hull, which coincided with their rise through the football leagues to the Premier League, and made 29 appearances himself in their debut campaign helping the club retain their league status on the final day.

That summer, 2009, he joined Bolton, signed by then-boss Gary Megson for a fee of £2.5m. His versatility and energy levels made him an important member of the Wanderers squad, and he played in every single defensive position during his 96 appearances for Bolton.

Though usually a hugely reliable figure, Ricketts did suffer one or two injuries towards the latter end of his Bolton career including a torn Achilles tendon in February 2011. He scored his one and only goal for the club against present employers Wolves with a fantastic strike in a December fixture of the same year.

Ricketts' contract expired at the end of the 2011-12 season but, despite Bolton being relegated from the Premier League, he signed a new two-year deal with the club in the summer of 2012. On 4 July 2013, after a season in which the team failed to make an instant return to the top flight, Bolton confirmed that his contract had been cancelled by mutual agreement.

Later that same day, Ricketts joined Wolverhampton Wanderers of League One as a free agent in a two-year deal. He was reunited with his former Swansea manager Kenny Jackett and as club captain helped Wolves to the League One title with a record 103 points.

Eligible for the Wales national side through his grandmother, Ricketts made his international debut in February 2005 in a friendly against Hungary that was John Toshack's first game in charge after his return as manager. He would go on to make 52 appearances between 2005 and the present day.