A warm Watford welcome and 'Bom Dia' to our forthcoming gallant opponents, São Wôlvêrhâmptón do Wãndêrérs FC. As soon as this interminable international yawn is over, our glorious Hornets, pride of and example to the rest of the football league, will make their triumphant and magisterial progress through the gentle breezes and sunlit, flower-strewn lanes of beautiful Hertfordshire, northwards to the Wolf Hall Stadium, home of the historic dozing footballing giants, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. We'll no doubt be using our green kit for this one, as our normal yellow would clash with the home team's famous tangerine shirts. The History Before about 1100, Wolverhampton was just a cold and windswept wasteland northwest of Birmingham populated by a few itinerant swine farmers. Then some woman called Lady Wulfrun did some unknown 'favour' for some king or other and as a reward, or to get shot of her or whatever, he gave her a present of the whole area. It was going to be called Wolverton at first, but that was already taken, so they added a 'Ham' into it in recognition of the area's production of pork products. A few shacks and things started getting built up around Lady W's manor house, but then the whole place burned to ashes in the great fire of 1590. Undaunted and showing that famous black country can-do spirit, they built it all up again over the next 100 years or so. Then it all burnt to the ground again in the great fire of 1693. The locals spent the next 10 years pondering these events and eventually in 1703, they finally came up with the idea of purchasing their very first fire engine. This was what first led to the Wolfetonians (as they are called) gaining their reputation for being, whilst perhaps a little slower in speed of thought and wit than the rest of us, eventually getting to the answer in the end. As for industry, they obviously didn't want to be doing much that involved naked flames, so they had a go at coal mining for a while. But the last Wolverhampton pit closed as a hopeless dead-weight on the economy in the early 1900s, back before Maggie Thatcher was even a sperm. They also had a go at making bicycles, but not very successful. Makes that nobody has ever heard of and which are lost to obscurity. They soon gave that up and tried making motorcycles. Also not very successful. They are not really great manufacturer's names which echo down through the ages. Anyone ever been for a ride on a Beau Ideal, an Olympic, a Diamond, an Omega, an Orbit, a Shacklock, a Carfield, a Mercury or a Sprite? I doubt even the motorcycle museum has heard of them. Anyway, motorcycle manufacturing was inexplicably abandoned in the 1920s. due to 'disappointing sales'. The marvellous Wolverhampton-invented and manufactured Turner 'Bi-Van'. The bicycle/white van solution for your business. Comes complete (for reasons which are unclear) with both forward and rear anal probes as standard. Abandoned following low sales and complaints from riders of chronic bow-legs and crushed nuts. There was one industry that was extremely successful for Wolverhampton though. An industry at which they excelled and became justly famous. An industry which contributed massively to this country's wealth and prosperity. They were experts in making locks, chains, shackles, fetters, iron collars and gags, handcuffs and all sorts of other torture stuff. Yes, the slave trade of course, but people forget that there are also plenty of sado-masochists with good reason to thank Wolfertonian industry. Made in Wolverhampton. Firm but fair. To this day, the people of Wolverhampton remain very proud of their huge contribution to the forceable restraint sector. Inspired by the landslide victories local voters gave to Enoch Powell as the town's wildly popular MP for no less than 24 years, they invented their own flag with the slave chains boldly front and centre and a red stripe representing the rivers of blood they hoped to extract from the black stripe. They even took it up to the House of Commons and were surprised when appalled MPs refused to pose with it. Another famous and admirable aspect of Wolverhampton people is their disdain and disregard for standards of namby pamby cleanliness. With all the industry going on, failing or not, there were plenty of choking, smoky pollution and it wasn't long before all the streets, the buildings and not least the people themselves became caked in a thick layer dirt, grime and filth from the waste and sewage. Queen Victoria made a brief visit once during the 1830s and called Wolverhampton 'a large and dirty town'. However, she did quite like the statue they'd put up of her husband, Prince Albert, so it wasn't a complete 1 star review. The self-deprecating name 'The Black Country' came about as the result of a public vote with a poll being conducted by the Wolverhampton Express & Star. It was a close run thing, but the winning entry The Black Country managed to take it by a handful of votes from other popular entries such as Tarnish Town, Filthville, Mucky Mire, Sludge City, Contamiton and Bonny Sootland. However all of that is history now because the place was more or less bombed flat in the second world war, getting rid of all the rats, disease and failed industries and what have you and giving them a fresh, clean slate to start with again. Today you won't see any blackened sooty buildings or streets – everything is a fresh, cheerful modern concrete grey, with splashes of colour provided by the oil slicks in some of the puddles and the traditional wind-blown litter. Things To Do In Wolverhampton It was very unfair that Wolverhampton was voted the fifth worst city in the whole word by Lonely Planet traveller's guide. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uk...pton-voted-fifth-worst-city-in-the-world.html and also amongst the country's most miserable and unhappy locations https://www.expressandstar.com/news...on-named-as-one-of-uks-most-miserable-cities/. In fact, the Black Country is crammed with exciting and fascinating things to see and do. If, for some inexplicable reason, you should happen to arrive there early and have some hours to spend , then why not take in some of these local attractions before the game? Are you a very undemanding animal lover who also hates all things strange and foreign? Then why not visit the imaginatively-named Wild Zoological Park (http://www.wildzoo.co.uk) described on Trip Adviser as being “a bit like a pet shop, but less exotic.” Pet the rabbits! See real ducks and geese. Why not visit the goat enclosure? Feed the rats with some leftovers from your sandwiches. It's all at the Wild Zoological Park. Marvel at Britain's first automatic traffic lights. Installed in 1927 in Princes Square at the junction with Lichfield Street, these babies present full-phase synchronised switching through a complete spectrum including classic red, the rarely seen red and amber together, exotic amber only and of course, brilliant green. This attraction is popular, so try to bag a space amongst the crowds of awestruck watching locals as early as possible. Synchronised - Lights Feeling peckish? Fancy a bite to eat before the big match? You're in luck! Wolverhampton is famous for its regional cuisine and most of all its traditional pork products from the area's historic pig farming. Most famous of all is the Wolverhampton pork scratching. Delicious scraps of slaughterhouse waste, crisp roasted in tasty lard.